Easy Vegan Miso Soup From Scratch: Shiitake + Kombu Combo!

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 23, 2022

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The key to making vegan miso soup is to make your own vegan dashi without any traces of seafood. 

I found a way to create some vegan dashi to add to the miso soup.

Vegan miso soup with noodles

Make the cold brew vegan dashi and just add some

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Favorite Asian Recipes

and you’re done!

Ok, so this is what we’re going to be making, a nice and vegan miso soup.

These are all of the ingredients that you’ll need:

make delicious Vegan miso soup

Let’s get into the recipe!

Vegan miso soup

Vegan miso soup with noodles

Joost Nusselder
A very easy and delicious miso soup with vegan dashi. Added some noodles to make it a full lunch.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Soaking time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Mason jar or another container for the dashi

Ingredients
  

Vegan dashi

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 sheet kombu
  • 2 cups water

Miso soup

  • 1 bundle ramen noodles
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 stalk green onions
  • 1 hand dried wakame

Instructions
 

Vegan dashi cold brew

  • Let’s first make the vegan dashi: you’ll need two cups of water, four dried shiitake mushrooms, and one long piece of kombu seaweed.
    This is enough for around four people, four servings of soup but making less than this will be hard to soak the kombu in.
    Vegan dashi broth with kombu and shiitake
  • Now soak the mushrooms and seaweed in water for 30 minutes in a jar or a bowl. I use a mason jar for this.
    You can soak them for 12 hours in the fridge for more flavorful results. I definitely recommend doing that.
  • After the dashi has had time to soak, open the jar and pinch the mushrooms to get all of their flavors out then remove the mushrooms and the seaweed from the water and throw them away or use them in another recipe or in this case in this miso soup.
    Pinch the shiitake mushrooms to release flavors
  • Now strain your stock by pouring the liquid through a fine strainer and remove any pieces of debris you see floating in it with a spoon now keep this stock in the fridge for no more than three days.
    Strain the dashi

Miso soup

  • Ok, now in the meantime let’s cook some water and then boil our ramen noodles in it. Just follow the package. It’s usually around eight minutes or so, and while that’s boiling we can also start making our miso soup base.
    Just put the dashi broth on in a small pan and then add the shiitake mushrooms to it.
  • You want to boil them for a few minutes then, when it’s boiling, you can also add your miso paste to it.
    So now you have a nice miso dashi base broth. Just stir it a little so all the miso gets absorbed in the water then just let it stand for a few minutes.
    Give it some time to boil for a few minutes then scoop out the shiitake mushrooms, they’re done and you can cut them later.
    Add miso to the broth
  • Now let’s cut the green onion into small pieces. You can add those to the bowl, then add in your dried wakame seaweed, some noodles (they can be cold), and then you just pour over your hot miso soup.
    Then cut your mushrooms and add one or two to your bowl and give it a little stir, and there’s your soup!
    Preparing the bowl of miso soup

Video

Keyword Dashi, Miso, miso soup, Vegan
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Vegan miso soup recipe
Vegan miso soup recipe card

(this recipe is part of our free Japanese with ease recipe book here)

Is miso soup vegan or vegetarian?

Miso soup gets its name from the miso paste used in making it.

While miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and thus is vegan/vegetarian-friendly, another key ingredient makes the traditional preparation of this soup not vegan or vegetarian.

Dashi is the traditional stock for miso soup. The most common recipes for dashi include fish stock or dried fish.

However, dashi can be made vegan, so you can still enjoy delicious miso soup! If you’re eating out, check with the restaurant to see which stock they use.

How can I make vegan or vegetarian substitutes in my miso soup?

Since the only ingredient in traditional miso that may not be vegan is the dashi, here are some tips for making fish-free dashi that will still give you umami and a briny flavor, which are crucial in good miso soup.

  • When making your dashi, be sure to use seaweed or kelp (kombu). This will provide the salty, briny flavor expected from the fish without requiring actual seafood. Dried seaweed flakes will also make a delicious garnish on top of your completed soup.
  • Include dried mushrooms. Japanese mushrooms will give your soup the umami flavor that is so important for this dish. Dried shiitake mushrooms are an excellent choice for this option.
  • Try daikon radishes. Daikon radishes will provide umami and also enhance the umami of any other ingredients you use, such as shiitake mushrooms. These radishes also come in a variety of colors which will add vibrance to your soup.
  • Make your dashi with carrot peels. Carrot peels are rich in umami and also will provide some sweetness to your miso soup. Carrot peels are also rich in nutrients, so they make a great addition to your dashi stock. Pair them with kelp or seaweed to match brine and umami in a nutrient-packed, vegetarian-friendly dish.

What else can I do to enrich my vegan miso soup?

Don’t forget to load up on delicious vegetables. Miso soup can be made with very few additions or lots of vegetables. If you want a nutrient-packed dish, add root vegetables like carrots and radishes.

Green onions add excellent flavor and color to the dish, so they are perfect to add or sprinkle on as a garnish.

Other delicious additions to your miso soup can make it stand out. Miso soup frequently uses tofu, and it will boost the protein level of your dish.

Noodles or zoodles add a different texture and heartiness to the soup. Enjoy!

Also, check out everything on how long dashi will keep after you’ve made a batch here

And don’t worry if you don’t have all of the ingredients at hand. If you’re preparing this in advance, you can easily get them online.

These are my favorite brands, I always check the lowest prices for the ingredients I use:

Shiitake

Dried shiitake mushrooms taste so good once they’re rehydrated in the hot broth. It’s a good way to add substance and flavor to the soup.

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms


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Dried kombu

Dried kelp is a tasty and crunchy addition to the miso soup. It has that salty sea flavor and it’s super healthy for your body too!

Wel-Pac dried kombu


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Miso paste

Shirakiku Miso Shiro

(view more images)

Otherwise, we’ve got some excellent substitutes for some of these that might help. Try these great substitutes for dashi if you don’t have it.

Vegan miso soup recipe

Conclusion

It’s very easy to make your miso soup vegan, all you need is the right dashi, and don’t add anything animal afterward :)

Enjoy!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.