Recipe Review

I Tried Instant Miso Soup Balls and It’s My New Favorite Meal-Prep Trick

published Feb 11, 2023
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Miso soup made with instant miso balls ladled on a spoon.
Credit: Justine Lee

One of my biggest hesitations with ordering food in bulk is that I’ll grow tired of it before I even make a noticeable dent. This is the exact reason I’ve yet to purchase a big pack of instant miso soup sachets. Don’t get me wrong — I love miso soup, but I know myself. If I have it two or three times, I’ll start to find the same flavor lackluster, and that’s when that 20-pack will start to collect dust. So when I came across a highly customizable recipe for DIY instant miso soup balls on TikTok from Lisa Kitahara of Okonomi Kitchen that only yielded 8 servings, it felt like a gift from above. Because I had almost every single ingredient required for the recipe, I had to make it immediately.   

How to Make Instant Miso Soup Balls 

The foundational step is to make the base of the soup ball. Mix miso paste, dashi powder, and green onions in a bowl until you get a well-combined paste reminiscent of compound butter. Next, scoop or form with your hands into 8 one-heaping-tablespoon-sized balls. Now comes the fun part: the add-ins! You can either throw your choice of dry ingredients into the miso-dashi paste and mix them in that way, or you can roll each ball with the add-ins by rolling to coat them. 

Credit: Justine Lee

I played around with a few combinations shown in the photo above. Starting from the top row, here’s what I did with each soup ball.

  • Mixed with chili crisp and coated in furikake.
  • Mixed with sesame seeds, coated with bonito fish flakes, and topped with natto soybeans.
  • Mixed with dried vegetables from a pack of instant ramen and onion flakes, topped with a jalapeño slice.
  • Coated in black garlic powder and dried parsley, and topped with pieces of salted Inca corn.
  • Covered with salted Inca corn and roasted nori.
  • Mixed with furikake and Trader Joe’s crunchy mochi nuggets.

Place the balls in an airtight container and store in the freezer. To make a bowl of miso soup, place a soup ball in a bowl, add 200 milliliters of hot water, and whisk until the miso paste has completely dissolved. Serve as is or feel free to add heartier cooked ingredients such as leafy greens, tofu, or noodles (more on that in a second). 

Credit: Justine Lee

My Honest Review of Instant Miso Soup Balls 

Now this is some good soup! These instant miso soup balls are simple, brilliant, and phenomenal. Right off the bat, the ball dissolves into the hot water like a dream. I thought the salinity from the miso and dashi granules was well-balanced, plus the combination immediately transformed to give the soup a pleasing body. And thanks to the various add-ins I opted for, no two bowls of miso soup were alike — something I can’t say about other types of meal prep. Chili oil mixed into the paste brought oily, crunchy heat. Coating the ball with crunchy munchers like fried tofu or crushed salty Inca corn made for an over-the-top soup without me really trying. 

If You’re Making Instant Miso Soup Balls, a Few Tips 

  • Go wild with the customization. While the miso paste, dashi, and green onions in each soup ball are glorious with tons of umami, there’s still plenty of room to add extra flavor.
  • Cook with instant ramen noodles. For a slightly more filling and impressive-looking lunch, toss one miso ball into a pot of boiling water and instant ramen noodles, and cook until the noodles are ready. Just like that, you’ll have instant miso ramen. 

    Get the recipe: Instant Miso Soup Balls