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Make Your Own Miso Soup (With Shrimp and Spinach)

When dining out for sushi, the miso soup is always a welcoming start to the meal. It's made of a simple miso broth with dashi, tofu and kelp. But next time you order sushi for takeout, consider making your own miso soup. In this delicious version you replace the tofu with shrimp and the kelp with spinach, keeping that warm miso flavor that easily pairs with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc that'll also taste great with the sushi.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 5-inch piece of lemongrass, smashed with a mallet to release the oils
  • 1 pound shrimp, deveined
  • 1/2 cup of miso or soybean paste (I use red but white can be used)
  • 1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 pound Asian rice noodles (Bahn Pho)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Jalapeños and green onions for garnish

Cook the rice noodles per package directions. When done, remove from heat, reserving the cooking liquid. While the noodles are cooking mix the broth with the water in another pot, add the lemongrass and bring to a boil. Once at a rapid boil add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes until pink and done. Remove shrimp and lemongrass, placing in a covered bowl to keep warm. Place the miso paste into a mesh strainer and ladle the hot broth over the paste to release the flavor and color into the broth. Continue ladling until only solid matter is left. Discard any leftover solid matter in the strainer. Return the pot to the stove, stir in the spinach leaves and bring the broth to a boil, allowing the leaves to wilt. This is where an assembly line can take place. Layer the strained noodles, spinach leaves and shrimp in the bowl. Ladle the hot broth directly onto the ingredients in the bowl. Garnish each bowl with jalapeños, chili garlic sauce and green onions. Finish with a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper and you are ready to eat! Serve the bowls with miso spoons and chopsticks!

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