Village-Style Miso Soup [田舍味增汁]

In Japanese, 湯 (read as yu) is refer to hot water and 汁 (read as shiru or jiru when combined with a noun) is refer to soup. Whereas, 湯 (read as tang) in Chinese refer to soup and 汁 (read as zhi) refer to juice or gravy. I got confused when I saw 湯 on a signboard for the first time in Japan, mistaken it as soup, it was actually signboard for hot spring/onsen!  

As for this soup, it is not something you will find in a Japanese restaurant in the city or beyond Japan. This home-cooked village-style miso soup (田舍味增汁, read as inaka misojiru) is sometime served in small restaurants in rural areas in Kyoto. Not long ago we had it at a family-owned okonomiyaki restaurant near to home, it was served together with sobameshi. I like it hot with shichimi, very much.


  • 5 baby yams / Taro Root
  • 1 small onion
  • Some dried wakame (optional)
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tsp hon-dashi
  • 2- 3 tbsp awase miso (混合味增/mixed miso)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar

  1. Peel yam and cut into chunks, and cut onion in into wedges.
  2. Bring water to a boil, hon-dashi, yam and onion. Turn the heat down and simmer until yam is softened.
  3. Put miso paste in a bowl, dissolve with some hot soup then add into the pot.
  4. Add sugar and wakame, stir a few seconds and turn the heat off.
  5. Serve warm. If desired, some chopped spring onion and shichimi can be sprinkled over the top.

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