Extra Firm Tofu Is Key For A Mind-Blowing Miso Soup

Miso soup with tofu
Miso soup with tofu - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

For many, a steaming bowl of earthy and savory miso soup is one of the highlights of eating at a Japanese restaurant. But, as it turns out, you don't have to wait till you go out to eat in order to enjoy the delicious, umami-rich soup — Tasting Table has a recipe for a simple miso soup that you can easily make at home in under 30 minutes. The step-by-step process is quite straightforward, but in order to make sure that the soup is as delicious as possible, you'll want to pay attention to the ingredients — namely, buying extra firm tofu.

Extra firm tofu is key because it will hold its shape and texture much more successfully than softer tofu varieties while it sits in the soup. If you get a soft tofu, you will likely end up with soggy tofu, which will ruin the miso soup experience. Trust us, if you buy the extra firm tofu, your homemade miso soup should be as good as it tastes in a restaurant.

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You May Also Need To Press The Tofu

tipping tofu chunks into soup
tipping tofu chunks into soup - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

However, even extra firm tofu can get a little soggy — but only if it comes packaged in water. Finding a good tofu brand helps. Not all of them package the tofu in water, but most do, so it's important to press this tofu before integrating it into the miso recipe. If you own a tofu press, that's the easiest way to get the job done — but don't worry if you don't because there are plenty of other ways to get that moisture out.

You can make a makeshift tofu press by wrapping the tofu in a towel or paper towels to catch the water that's released, then placing something heavy on top of the tofu block — anything from a weighty pan to a heavy bowl will do. Depending on what you use, you may want to place a cutting board in between the tofu and the object to keep it stable. You'll want to account for at least 30 minutes to properly press the tofu and rid it of moisture.

Or, if you're low on time, you can resort to the quickest way to drain moisture from tofu: The microwave. Just wrap the tofu in paper towels and start microwaving it 30 seconds at a time — it should be good to go in about two minutes. Then, let it cool while you prepare your other ingredients.

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