3 Must-Try Japanese Seaweed Soups
“Miso-Shiru (味噌汁)”, or miso soup, is a quintessential Japanese soup dish that is fairly well-recognized in many countries in recent years. Actually, as with miso soup, we Japanese often have soup with edible seaweed.
When it comes to the seaweed we commonly consume in daily life, “Nori (海苔)”, or seaweed laver, is well-known, which, as you know, is an essential ingredient for making Sushi and Onigiri.
Not only that, Wakame and Kombu are also the most commonly used edible seaweed in Japan, and Mozuku and Mekabu are widely enjoyed as well. Accordingly, there are various types of seaweed soups available in Japan.
3 Popular Types of Seaweed Soup in Japan
Today, for seaweed soup beginners, out of those, let me introduce 3 popular, must-try seaweed soups in Japan.
In Japan, Wakame has been widely consumed since ancient times. The seaweed was mentioned in “Manyoshu (万葉集)”, Japan’s oldest anthology that was compiled about 1200 years ago.
At the time, the seaweed Wakame was not only for edible use, but it was also used in Shinto rituals, as an example, when praying for a good harvest.
In modern times, there are broadly 2 types of Wakame soups in Japan, one made using Miso soybean paste and the other seasoned mainly with soy sauce and salt.
Boiled Wakame is soft, tender, and almost tasteless. The seaweed is known as a low-calorie healthy food and in fact is rich in nutrients, a good source of dietary fibers.
The seaweed Mozuku looks kind of like fine noodles but it has a pleasantly crunchy texture and is a little slimy.
Mozuku is sometimes prepared as an ingredient for Miso soup, but the seaweed is more often used in clear soup dishes.
Tororo Kombu Soup
Tororo Kombu, literally grated yam kombu (kelp), is the word for dried kelp shavings. When hot water is poured onto Tororo Kombu, the seaweed flakes become mushy like grated yam.
Tororo Kombu can be used in various dishes. For example, it is sometimes used in Onigiri as a replacement for Nori, or as a topping for Udon and Soba noodle soups, or in soup dishes.
The basic way to make Tororo Kombu soup is actually straightforward; First, put some Tororo Kombu in a bowl and pour in boiling water. Then, season it with soy sauce and garnish with toppings, like Umeboshi and chopped green onions, and you can enjoy the Tororo Kombu soup.