How to Make Lower Sodium Healthy Miso Soup

Miso Soup is a very healthy food that’s been proved by so many studies. But I bet that a lot of people didn’t bother trying it because of the high sodium content that’s contained in Miso Paste.

In this page I’ll show you how to make lower sodium healthy Miso Soup.

Table of Contents

Why is Miso “Healthy Food” even if it’s Very Salty?

miso paste

As in the case of Miso Paste, fermented food contains way more nutrients than the total nutrition of raw materials. According to the information by Japan Ministry of Science, Miso Paste contains all 9 kinds of Essential Amino Acid, which the human body is never able to create/synthesize and must be supplied in a proper diet.

• Tryptophan
• Leucine
• Methionine
• Phenylalanine
• Threonine
• Valine
• Lysine
• Isoleucine
• Histidine

On the other hand, due to miso paste being a natural fermented preserved food, the salinity is indispensable to prevent spoilage in the traditional manufacturing processes.

 How to Calculate the Sodium Content of Miso Paste

So, let’s learn how to make low sodium miso soup in order to eat a healthier version of miso soup without any hesitation.

How to Reduce Sodium of Your Miso Soup

Using low sodium miso paste is NOT only the solution to reduce sodium from your miso soup!  You can cut down more than 60% of sodium from your miso soup without it, if you follow some tips!

low sodium miso soup

Step 1. Use Natural Japanese Broth When Making Miso Soup

How to Make Japanese DASHI Broth Easily: Fish & Kelp Soup Stock

The powdered instant soup broth is very convenient, but when used it tends to be overly salty. Therefore, it is very important to make soup stock using natural ingredients.

 How to Make Japanese Broth “Dashi”

Step 2: Add More Ingredients and Make Less Soupy

Just like you can take in a shocking amount of sugar quickly by drinking sweet drinks, you also can drink a lot of sodium in a minute if your miso soup is too soupy. Let’s put more ingredients in and make miso soup “to EAT”, not “to Drink”. In total sodium intake, a small amount of strong miso soup is much healthier than the plenty of light miso soup.

Soupy Miso Soup

Soupy Miso Soup

Less Soupy Miso Soup

Less Soupy Miso Soup

Step 3.Add Potassium-rich Foods

It’s a well-known fact that Japanese food is salty. That’s why Japanese people consume a lot of Potassium-rich food. Potassium promotes sodium excretion. Potassium-rich foods are as follows.

  • kombu(kelp), seaweed(昆布)
  • wakame, seaweed(わかめ)
  • soybean(大豆)
  • tofu
  • daikon, radish(だいこん, 大根)
  • potatos
  • mushrooms
  • pasery, herb
  • basil, herb
  • Matcha, green tea
  • Gyokuro, green tea
  • Sencha, green tea
Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup

Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup

We can use “kelp” to make broth and miso paste itself contains “soybeans”. Also knowing this fact, you now know why the Japanese traditional miso soup is “tofu’n’wakame”. Rignt?

Step 4. Cook Ingredients Before Adding Miso Paste

Miso Soup Ingredients

If you want to add root-type vegetables such as carrot, radish or potato, you can put them into the broth first, then bring it boil.

Timing to Add: Before Turn on the Heat

  • Broth
  • Root-type Vegetables(carrot, radish, potato etc.)

If you add pork or onion, put it into the boiling broth and scoop away the scum.

Timing to Add: After Brought it Boil

  • Meat(Pork is best for miso soup.) *Don’t forget to scoop away the scum!
  • Hard Vegetables(onion, etc.)

Then If you want to add those items, add them 1 minute before removing the pot from the heat.

Timing to Add: 1 Minute before Remove from the Heat

  • Delicate Vegetables(Green Onion, etc.)
  • Dried Wakame(a kind of seaweed)
  • Tofu
  • Aburaage(deep fried thin tofu/must be pored with hot water, over it, before adding it to the pot)
  • Fu(baked wheat gluten)

Step 5. Don’t Boil After Adding Miso Paste

Remove the pot from the heat, and dissolve miso paste. The amount of miso paste that I recommend is 1 teaspoon per serving.

dissolve miso paste

Stir it in the big spoon or ladle while adding soup little by little, not to leave any chunks of the paste. Turn on the heat again but make sure you don’t let it boil. finally, Remove from the heat the moment you see the little bubbles on the edge of the soup. Because too much heat destroys precious nutrients in miso paste.
Try to create your own healthy miso soup!

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References:

  • Food Composition Database(食品成分データベース) by MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
    http://fooddb.mext.go.jp/
    *This database was developed by Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and it is published experimentally.