Hello hello everyone, today I’m bringing some plant-based goodness to the blog. Whilst I was in Japan the guys over at Tsubi Soup sent me some of their instant soups to try, with the wedding madness I saved them until I was back in London and back at work, and my gosh they have been a life saver! So I wanted to tell you a little bit more about them today in case you’re on the hunt for some convenient, instant food that’s actually healthy to stockpile in your cupboards.
Tsubi was founded by Tsubi Nishitani, a Japanese-born, Gold Coast raised powerhouse who’s worked across Australia, Hong Kong and is now based in Tokyo. She worked a demanding office job for 8 years, working crazy hours and requiring a ton of computer work, meaning that she didn’t have a lot of time to invest into cooking or fostering the healthiest eating habits. When days got busy Tsubi found herself relying on instant soups and noodles at her desk, and over the years she began to get sick. Eventually she became so ill that she realised she needed to make a change. After starting with food allergy tests and cutting out foods that were making her sick, Tsubi eventually converted to a fully vegan diet, removing anything processed or allergenic to totally detox her system, and she started to grow stronger and healthier every day (hooray!).
After making the change, Tsubi also started to learn about factory farming practices, GMO produce and artificial food additives. She was shocked as she began to increasingly notice chemicals, refined sugars, flavour enhancers and trans-fats in her everyday foods, and even in foods that were marketed as healthy. She wasn’t feeling the greenwashing she was seeing around her, and struggled to find convenient food that was also healthy and tasted good. She, like so many other brilliant entrepreneurs in the ethical industry, realised she needed to take matters into her own hands, and create a product herself to fit this need. Tsubi soups was officially born!
Mouthwatering Miso, the Ethical Way
While raised in Australia, Tsubi is from a Japanese family and grew up drinking miso soup every day, so she started Tsubi soup with that which was close to home, miso blends made with vegan ingredients sourced exclusively in Japan. People often think that regular miso is vegan however it contains dashi, a Japanese broth made from broiling down bonito tuna, but the broth for Tsubi is fish free, instead made from simmering down wild seaweed and shiitake mushrooms to create umami and depth. There’s currently three blends in the range, though the plan is to expand into more in the future, let me tell you what flavours you can get your hands on…
– Blended miso soup with crunchy vegetables: The original vegan blend of miso loaded with cabbage, carrots, spinach and green onions.
Ingredient list: miso, spinach, cabbage, green onions, carrot, potato starch, kelp powder, yeast extract, shiitake mushroom powder, sea salt, plant derived vitamin E/antioxidant.
– White miso soup with seaweed and tofu: their most popular vegan white miso soup with fragrant aosa seaweed, silky tofu squares and fried tofu pieces.
Ingredient list: white miso , green onions, fried tofu, potato starch, freeze dried tofu, aosa sea lettuce, kelp powder, yeast extract, shiitake mushroom powder,sea salt, plant derived vitamin E/antioxidant.
– Spicy red miso soup with four mushrooms: a red miso soup loaded with four Japanese mushrooms: Shiitake, Enoki, Maitake & Nameko alongside a pinch of ichimi red pepper.
Ingredient list: red miso, enoki mushrooms, nameko mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, green onions, potato starch, shiitake mushrooms, kelp powder, yeast extract, ichimi red chili pepper, shiitake mushroom powder, sea salt, plant derived vitamin E/antioxidant.
(note, these do all contain soy)
It’s immediately obvious that these all sound super yummy, but let me tell you some fun facts about what makes Tsubi even more ethical. As well as being 100% plantbased recipes these soups are MSG, GMO and gluten free, so if you’re coeliac or intolerant there’s some instant food for you, and also high in fibre and low calorie (if you’re looking for that, I’m not a calorie counter myself). But also, and this is my favourite part, all ingredients are fully traceable. Tsubi ingredients all come from the southern and northern tips of Japan, and Tsubi promise food traceability under an internationally recognized ISO22000:005 license awarded to their factory. They know how and where each ingredient was grown, harvested, processed and packaged for full transparency on where their product has come from, making ingredients high quality, supportive of local business and cutting environmental impacts by using local suppliers, whilst the soups themselves are also made in South Japan. Finally, all Tsubi packaging is recyclable and BPA free, so it ticks the zero waste box too, but still can be on the go.
I also want to include this little bit of info from the Tsubi website on miso, because I just think it’s super fascinating as a core ingredient in Japanese food
‘Japan has the world’s highest life expectancy rate thanks in large part to diet, and one of Japan’s greatest superfoods – miso – has played a major role in everyday Japanese cuisine for centuries. Even used in modern cuisine, it has made it’s mark as one of the world’s most important superfoods. The miso in Tsubi Soup is made of the highest quality NON-GMO soybeans that have been carefully fermented at our century old miso maker in Kyoto, a region famous for its ancient miso crafting skills… Miso is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, and is packed full of B vitamins and antioxidants, which are great for anti-ageing mechanisms and cell regeneration. Being a fermented product, probiotics found in miso aid in long-term digestive health and helps balance the healthy bacteria in your gut.’
Seriously, there’s a reason Japanese people eat miso every day.
So what is it about these soups that makes them so handy for on the go? Well these soups are crazy lightweight, weighing only 15 grams and packaging up super small, so you can literally throw them in your handbag on the way to work in the morning. The soup comes in the form of a small cube, created through a dehydration process called freeze drying which gently removes the water content from the soup and vegetables, without changing the composition and structure of the ingredients. By using this method Tsubi are able to retain up to 98 percent of the nutritional value while weighing only 20 percent of its original weight, whilst also giving the soup a shelf life of up to 18 months without using any artificial preservatives.
To turn your cube back into soup you just need to add 160ml of boiling water and the rest is taken care of. On the Tsubi website they describe it as ‘watch the ingredients come to life!’ which I kinda laughed at when I first read it, but it’s actually pretty accurate. When I first saw one of the cubes I couldn’t understand how there could possibly be any veggies in there, but as soon as I added water I suddenly saw them appear, as if by scientific food magic. An added benefit of this soup is the real entertainment you get from watching your soup become soup. Is that weird? Honestly, it’s so fun.
What Did I Think of Them?
Since returning to work I’ve tried all three flavours and I have to say, I love them. I launched straight back into work the day after I returned from Japan, I was jet lagged and had no time to go shopping, so I turned to these soups. They were of course ridiculously easy to take to work, and I found them to be the perfect amount for a light meal. The three flavours are distinctly different from each other, and I have to say it’s amazing how flavourful they are. I tried a cuppa soup one time on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition, I did not repeat that choice again. Tsubi I could eat again and again. In terms of ingredients coming to life I would say the mushroom soup is the most fun to watch, but flavour wise I have to go with the most popular choice of the seaweed/tofu soup. The tofu tastes so good because it absorbs all the soupy flavours, it was so good. I also loved that I didn’t need to worry or overthink these soups, they really do live up to their promise of being convenient, healthy and delicious.
If you’re wanting to get them for yourself these soups are stocked across America, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. However you can also buy them online through the Tsubi online store, where you can buy in bulk. You can buy up to 30 soups at once, meaning you can stockpile for any time you might be too rushed to make food. Or for the apocalypse. Either way you’d be well supplied. I can’t recommend these enough, so if you’re going to go instant, go Tsubi!
Until next time, stay magic y’all.