In modern day Japan, thanks to the addition of cultures from many countries around the world, you can enjoy a huge variety of cuisines and flavors.
However, Japan also has its own home cooking flavor that is purely Japanese.
One of those is “miso soup.” This stewed soup is made of dashi stock with vegetables or other ingredients in it, and in the end miso is mixed into it to create a soup that is representative of Japan.
The taste of miso soup changes depending on where one lives and the preferences of the household, due to the different varieties of miso. Miso is a fermented food that comes from soy beans, and it has been used as a seasoning in Japanese cuisine since time immemorial. It is one of the most important parts of Japanese food culture.
Even though they’re all called “miso,” there are many varieties, and the taste of the miso soup eaten all throughout the 47 prefectures changes because of the different miso types. The way to make miso and the ingredients used also changes by region.Ippei Suzuki/Flickr
Japanese people have an intimate relationship with miso soup, and even when you eat out if you order Japanese food or a rice bowl, you will usually get miso soup as a side.Naotake Murayama/Flickr
Also, because the way people make their dashi stock also differs, the taste of the soup between households that use the same miso is still different. The number one “hometown” taste Japanese people have is the taste of the miso soup their mothers make.
Here is a video showing how to make miso soup.
Now you can buy instant miso soup packets that allow you to make and eat soup just by adding hot water.
If you come to Japan, please try miso soup at least once.