Whether you count the flavor, the taste, or the appearance, miso soup can definitely stand out in this category.
The traditional Japanese dish is based on a dashi stock mixed into a miso paste.
It is simple to prepare and brings in an aroma that no other type of soup can resemble.
Miso soup is often served as a first course – the light course before the main meal kicks in.
In theory, it is not very fulfilling, hence the necessity of the main course too.
However, there are a few simple ways to turn miso soup into a meal.
Not sure what to serve with miso soup? Here is everything you have to know.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Miso Soup?
Unless you are looking for an afternoon snack or a very light dinner due to your diet, you will not really have to use a side dish for miso soup.
But other than that, miso soup is extremely light and not very fulfilling.
It is served as a first course or with a side dish – otherwise, you will feel hungry again within an hour or two.
The necessity of a side dish is even more obvious if you expect some guests – miso soup alone will not do.
What to Serve with Miso Soup? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are some of the most popular choices when unsure what to serve with miso soup.
1. Fresh Sashimi Salad
Miso soup has a naturally fresh aroma – you can now enhance it with a similar sashimi salad.
Not only is it refreshing, but it is also more fulfilling than the actual soup – great to turn it into a meal.
The dish is also a specialty in the Asian cuisine and is based on raw fish – make sure your guests are alright with it, as it is not suitable for everyone.
If some of your guests dislike raw fish, simply put it on a plate, so they can help themselves.
A simple alternative implies using rice instead.
2. Crunchy Veggie Rice
Rice can be successfully mixed with a plethora of Asian dishes, and the traditional miso soup makes no exception either – this is how you turn a plain soup into a fulfilling meal.
Rice has a hearty aroma, but it is also healthy and not very heavy – great to combine with soup.
You can mix both dishes together and serve them simultaneously, or you can turn the rice into the main course, yet it becomes a bit dull then.
If you think serving miso soup and rice at the same time is a challenge to eat, you can have a spoon of rice and take it through the soup before reaching your mouth.
3. Fried Tofu
It is worth noting that both fried and marinated tofu will work wonders with miso soup, yet most people prefer the fried alternative.
Despite being fried, it does not feel too heavy, and it makes a good bite size dish for your soup.
Tofu has a chewy texture – there is nothing like it.
Therefore, it will feel great when chewed along with a spoonful of soup.
In terms of taste, it will perfectly complement the soy flavors in your miso soup.
4. Sour Kimchi
Based on cabbage, kimchi is a specific taste in the Asian cuisine.
You can find it in commerce, but it is obviously tastier if you make it yourself – not such a big deal anyway.
A bit of kimchi will spice up everything.
The sour taste is extremely refreshing and will work wonders with the sourness associated with soy.
Some people choose to mix kimchi into the actual miso soup, but it might be better to give your guests some choice – put it aside and let them help themselves.
5. Steamed Veggies
This is an excellent choice to make your miso soup even healthier.
As if it was not refreshing enough, this combo brings in some of your favorite veggies too.
Stick to more than just a couple of them – use broccoli, peppers, potatoes, and even baby carrots.
Steaming them will let flavors out and soften them a bit.
However, in terms of texture, they will still maintain a bit of crunchiness.
Apart from a bit of salt and pepper, it pays off adding some butter as well.
Make sure the veggies are placed on a separate plate and not mixed into the soup.
6. California Rolls
California rolls are similar to classic sushi. The concept is fairly simple to understand.
First, you have a dish that is specific to Asian cuisine, so you can stick to the same trend for your meal.
Second, California rolls are refreshing and usually come in bite sizes.
Third, you can have them in a few different ways.
Some people dip them into the miso soup. Some others have it separately.
The rice is fulfilling and turns this combo into an actual meal.
As for flavors, you cannot go wrong with the umami flavor that will only enhance the miso soup.
7. Fried Beans
Beans are excellent close to miso soup, whether fried or baked.
You can get them in a can, or you can simply prepare the dish yourself – a matter of minutes only.
Not only are they delicious, but they bring in a hearty aroma that will enhance your miso soup.
Some people choose to mix fried beans into miso soup, but this is not always a good idea.
Your miso will lose its consistency – in other words, it will no longer be a soup.
In the end, trying to determine what to serve with miso soup will give you a plethora of different choices – there is something for everyone out there.
Most of the above-mentioned dishes are specific to traditional Asian cuisine, so they work extremely well with miso soup.
Which one is the best? It is totally up to you to decide.
Think about your guests’ preferences before making a radical decision.
Another good news is that all these side dishes take minutes to prepare.