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Hot and Sour Miso Soup with Tofu

Dear cold and flu bug,
Stay away.
We’ve got a secret weapon, this very special immune-building soup. Fresh ginger, green onion, capsicum pepper, and mineral rich miso stirred into broth–Mr. Nasty Cold, you don’t stand a chance. A dose of hot and sour miso soup with its steamy vapor alone will keep those bad-boy germs at bay.

Hot and Sour Miso Soup two bowls ready to eat with piece of fresh ginger and spoons

Kind of like grandma’s chicken noodle soup, but imho better, hot and sour miso soup nourishes the body and the soul. There’s a medicinal effect with hot homemade comfort—soothing soup makes you feel better.

ingredients for Hot and Sour Miso Soup


Oh the flavors–spicy hot jalapeño, ginger and cayenne, tangy sour rice wine vinegar, married with umami rich shiitake, tamari soy sauce and miso. Deep red-brown miso is lush with antioxidants and protective fatty acids, and a healthy dose of Vitamin E. Miso also boasts protein and Vitamin B12, and a nice selection of minerals to help boost immune system strength.

tofu sliced and ready for Hot and Sour Miso Soup

Firm tofu, crunchy carrot, and shiitake mushroom slivers float in the miso broth, adding texture. Arrowroot thickens the liquid a teensy bit, just the right amount. This hot and sour miso soup is life-changing. It’s what you make when you miss your mother. To boot, it can be ready in a half hour!

Sooooo… Keep those cold and flu bugs away. Wash your hands–a lot, douse your phone with antiseptic wipes, and resist itching your eyes. And be sure to prescribe yourself hot and sour miso soup often, as needed.

Hot and Sour Miso Soup one bowl on wood board

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Hot and Sour Miso Soup with Tofu recipe details:

  • Miso is a fermented seasoning, a staple in every Japanese kitchen; its range of flavors and colors, textures and aromas is as varied as that of the world’s fine wines or cheeses. I tend to go with dark miso (affiliate) in soup. (I use white miso for this creamy mellow miso salad dressing.)
  • Almost all the time, for the quick and easy, I use a quality powdered vegetable broth base. If you have the time, make my homemade vegetable broth.
  • Arrowroot powder is ground from a tropical tuber and is high in minerals, compared to cornstarch with little nutritional value. You can substitute cornstarch for the arrowroot.
  • The spicy heat is to your taste–if someone is chile pepper sensitive, use less. If you don’t have a jalapeño pepper, add another pinch of cayenne.
  • Grate your ginger easily with a microplane zester. A grapefruit spoon with a serrated tip is perfect for removing veins and seeds.
  • I used my OXO mandoline to cut matchstick carrot slivers. And cut-resistant gloves so I don’t cut myself on the sharp blades!

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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  • Maura

    A few days late for me! I’m down with the crud. This soup sounds really good though. Thanks Letty. Reply · 20 January, 2016

    • Awww. sorry to hear you’re sick. Have your hubby make you this soup! Reply · 21 January, 2016

  • I had a cold scare yesterday so I went to bed at 7:30 and slept 10 hours. Today I’m feeling like I dodged the bullet, but just to be safe miso may be in order. GREG Reply · 28 January, 2016

  • Gloria

    Made the soup tonight for my family. Very tasty and satisfying. Nice balance of textures.Since I love shiitakes I used a bunch of fresh shiitakes in addition to the dry ones. I cooked the mushrooms first in a l little bit of oil and added them to the soup at the end. Reply · 4 February, 2016

    • I glad you like the soup Gloria! Reply · 5 February, 2016

  • Maize

    Just made it. Added sliced carrots and used Apple Cider Vinegar, as that’s all I had on had. Delicious! Reply · 16 October, 2016

    • Thanks for the note Maize! I am so happy you liked this soup! It’s one of my favorites! Reply · 17 October, 2016

  • Sina–thank you for including my soup in your incredible recipe roundup! Reply · 25 August, 2017

  • Barbara Holly

    Made it according to the recipe. Found I needed to double or triple the vinegar as well as the chili paste. Reply · 22 October, 2019

    • Barbara, I’m glad you felt comfortable adding more flavor to your taste. I would say the serrano chiles give this soup a mild heat, especially if you only use one chile, but if you like picante heat, adding more chile is just fine. My husband loves this soup with the vinegar component as given. Reply · 23 October, 2019

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