Miso, a fermented medicinal food with a rich history, makes an ideal addition to any bone broth or soup recipe!
Miso is an ancient food dating as far back as 800 BC. Miso involves a unique double fermentation process using soybeans and grains. According to the book Japanese Foods That Heal, miso offers numerous health benefits – including radiation protection.
During the 60’s, students of macrobiotics and Zen began hearing about Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, director of Saint Francis Hospital in Nagasaki during the second World War. Although Akizuki spent years treating atomic bomb victims just a few miles from ground zero, neither he nor his staff suffered from the usual effects of radiation. Akizuki hypothesized that he and his associates were protected from the deadly radiation because they drank miso soup every day.
Akizuki’s theory was supported in 1989 by evidence demonstrating the protection miso offers to those exposed to radiation. Professor Akihiro Ito, at Hiroshima University’s Atomic Radioactivity Medical Lab, read reports of European countries importing truckloads of miso from Japan after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ito reasoned that if people were protected from radiation by miso, then rats that were fed miso and radiated should develop less cancer than radiated rats that were not fed miso. Professor Ito was not surprised to find that the liver cancer rate for rats that were not fed miso was 100 to 200 percent higher than that of rats that were fed miso. Ito also reported that rats that were fed miso had much less inflammation of organs caused by radioactivity.
(Miso is not the only food that helps protect against radiation. See 7 Anti-Radiation Foods.)
The best news about miso is that it’s easy to add into your daily food regimen. If you’re a bone broth enthusiast, you’ll love the taste and texture of miso when added to your favorite broth.
How to Make Miso Soup
In his newly released book Fearless Broths and Soups, author Craig Fear offers a simple miso soup recipe with lots of room for adaptation. (If you are egg-free simply leave them out!)
Miso soup traditionally uses a light broth made from bonito flakes. But feel free to use your favorite bone broth instead.
- 1-2 cups broth of choice
- 1-2 teaspoons miso paste
- 1-2 eggs
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Cubed tofu
- Soy sauce
- Bring broth to a simmer.
- Remove 1/4 cup to a bowl and blend in miso paste.
- Return to broth and stir.
- *Add beaten eggs and simmer until poached.
- Top with scallions. Season to taste with soy sauce if desired.
* You can pour the eggs all at once and let them poach, or you can add them in a steady stream while stirring. This produces thin strands that look something like egg drop soup.
(New to making bone broth? See How to Make Bone Broth and Where to Buy It.)
Craig Fear offers the following variations for this basic recipe. Add these three-ingredient combinations to any miso and broth:
- Shrimp, bok choy, and Sriracha
- Fish, mushrooms, and napa cabbage
- Chicken, rice, leftover carrots, and/or broccoli
- Pork, scallions, spinach
- Beef, string beans, parsley
Where to Find Miso
You’ll find several types of miso, including traditional (often dark in color), mellow (lighter in color) and sweet. Generally speaking, the darker the color, the longer it’s been fermented and the stronger it will taste. I prefer the darker, more traditional flavor in soup. Choose miso made from rice as opposed to barley if you are concerned about gluten. (Although I am gluten intolerant and do fine with all miso.)
Look for non-GMO, organic miso in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. My favorite online source is South River Miso.
- 31Wherever we turn, we are exposed to unnatural levels of electromagnetic radiation. Studies abound on the adverse health effects of non-ionizing radiation. (The 2012 BioInitiative Report cites more than 1800 such studies.) Why not add a bit of potential protection with a daily dose of fermented papaya? While lifestyle decisions…
Miso is one of my faves….I must try this immediately! Have I told you how much I love your blog???
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you, Julia. A person can’t get too much encouragement. 🙂
Great post! I, too, am a big miso fan. One of my favorite ways to have it is to mix a bit into some coconut oil and use it like I would a flavored butter. I love it on baked potatoes or over cooked vegies. Yum! I get mine at H-mart, an Asian supermarket close to my house. They have non-GMO varieties and I buy one of those. The light miso tastes almost a little bit sweet…
Thank you for always taking the time to keep us up-to-date in the world of healthy living. I find your articles full of great ideas that I can immediately implement. 🙂
Andrea Fabry says
Flavored butter is a great idea! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to encourage, Sarah.
Karen Matheis says
The other night I heard Donna Leland say something about Brenton Brown having Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and what it did to him. I totally related to the symptoms. I contacted Donna by e-mail, and she referred me to your blog. I should have done this sooner. I listen to Chris and his “Toxic Life Coach,” but now that someone has put a name to the problem I have, I will continue to follow your blog and glean from your wisdom. I just did a cleansing fast, and Donna mentioned getting rid of sugar, which is what I’m trying desperately to do (it’s not easy). Thank you so much for all you do and for putting this information out there for us.
Andrea Fabry says
Nice to connect with you, Karen! Sugar reduction really does help. It’s a journey that’s for sure. You’re on the right road. Let me know if I can help along the way.
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
I love miso soup! I haven’t had it in forever though. Thanks for the reminder about it and how nourishing it is. Thanks for sharing this with us at Savoring Saturdays linky party. Hope you’ll join us again later today.