Making Healthy Natural Miso Soup with Kombu Kelp Seaweed


Wolf Camp and the Wolf College founder, Chris Chisholm, collecting bullwhip kelp on Orcas Island after a storm blew it ashore.

Living near the Pacific coast, we have the luxury of being in close proximity to countless numbers of seaweed (edible algea) including kelp species, each with their own flavors and uses. One of my all-time favorite seaweeds to use is kelps such as kombu (laminaria spp.) in the creation of dashi stock – the flavorful base for miso soup. Miso soup is fast, easy, and can be made from any fresh or dried giant kelp species.

Miso Soup Ingredients by Charles Borrowman

  • 3 green onions (sliced)
  • 1 package silken tofu (cubed)
  • 2 sheets dried kombu or any fresh giant kelp
  • 3 cups bonito flakes (can substitute 3-4 Tbsp dashi powder)
  • 6 cups water (plus extra to soak dried seaweed if using dried)
  • 6 tbsp white miso paste

Miso Soup Preparation

If using dried seaweed, place it in a bowl of warm water and give it 10-15 minutes to re-hydrate. Heat 6 cups of water in a pot or saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Add the fresh or reconstituted kelp to the water and let it simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the bonito flakes or dashi powder. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so until  stock becomes rich and aromatic. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer to remove the kelp and bonito flakes, then return it to the heat.

Add the tofu to the stock, then stir in the miso paste. You can push the miso paste through a fine mesh strainer to help it dissolve into the stock better. Remove it from the heat and add the green onions once the miso paste has been added. Avoid boiling the miso paste to keep it from losing flavor. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Clamming and collecting seaweed with wilderness chef, Charlie Borrowman.
Clamming and collecting seaweed with wilderness chef, Charlie Borrowman.

Charles Borrowman is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute of San Jose, California and a lead instructor with Wolf Camp and the Wolf College.  He teaches our Backcountry Gourmet Camp Cooking Classes, runs the camp kitchen during our Backpacking into Wolf Country Outdoor Leadership Training Expedition in June, teaches during our Survival, Herbology, Tracking, Scout & Artisan Camps in July, leads our Epic Fishing Camp in August, and co-teaches our Honorable Hunting & Fishing Expedition in September.

Check out other cooking blog posts by Wolf College wilderness chef Charles Borrowman including Making Clam Chowder with French Herbs and more.

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