I think I was born in Japan in another life. For me, nothing compares to Japanese cuisine – always so light, healthy and tasty, and always an emphasis on seasonal eating. There is also the admirable focus on omega-3 rich sources such as seaweed and oily fish, as well as pickled vegetables and fermented soy products such as miso. With the residents of the island of Okinawa in Japan exhibiting a life expectancy amongst the highest in the world, maybe we should be paying more attention to the basis of Japanese cuisine.
“Japanese cuisine has an emphasis placed on seasonality of food or shun, and dishes are designed to herald the arrival of the four seasons or calendar months.”
Miso is a staple ingredient in my house. In my Japanese Miso and Soba Noodle Soup Recipe, Japanese Salad Bowls with a Miso Tahini Dressing, or Protein Packed Hemp Seed Vegan Pesto which uses miso in place of parmesan cheese. If you are not aware of the health benefits of fermented foods, including miso you can read up on it here – 8 Common Fermented Foods You Probably Have At Home.
This is a simple recipe for a Japanese soup. I used barley in place of noodles because barley just seems to work in the winter months. Sometimes I use kale in place of broccoli. The seaweed I used was harvested by family friends in Haidi Gwaii but a kombu seaweed would do. The addition of edamame beans are vital for the protein content of this meal, feel free to replace with eggs if you don’t have these little beans on hand.
Recipe for Japanese Miso and Barley Soup with Edamame Beans
Recipe by: Rachel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Time To Finish: 35 minutes
Ingredients for Japanese Miso and Barley Soup with Edamame Beans
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
3 green onions, finely sliced, green and white sections separated
6 cups water
1/4 cup barley
4 tbsp. miso (+3/4 cup warm water)
1 cup organic edamame beans, shelled
1 small carrot, sliced diagonally
2 brown crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup broccoli, cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tbsp. organic soy sauce or tamari (optional)
handful of dried seaweed, such as kombu (optional
Method for Japanese Miso and Barley Soup with Edamame Beans
Heat oil over medium high heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add ginger and white section of spring onion and saute until aromatic, around 30 seconds.
Add water and barley and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid half on and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix miso with warm water in a separate bowl. This is easiest with a fork. The reason for this is to incorporate the miso and water together using only warm water because the probiotic activity of miso is destroyed in boiling water. Set aside.
Once the barley has been cooking for about 20 minutes add the vegetables and edamame beans. Boil for 5 minutes and then add a handful of seaweed if using.
Remove from heat. Let soup cool slightly before adding the miso mixture. Add sesame oil and soy sauce to taste. Garnish with green section of green onions before serving.
Nutrition Information for Japanese Miso and Barley Soup with Edamame Beans
Calories 280 cal
Saturated Fat 1g