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Monday, September 9, 2013

Basic Miso Soup Recipe (Miso-Shiru)

After white rice, the most common dish seen on Japanese tables is miso soup(miso-shiru/味噌汁). Eaten at any meal, it's the cornerstone of Japanese cooking. If you ask people what they ate for breakfast, one of the most common answers is rice and miso soup.

Miso is fermented rice, barley and/or soybeans that creates a thick, salty paste that is a basic seasoning. Miso soup is a combination of a fish stock base(usually bonito) and the miso with various other ingredients. Instant, granulated bonito stock is commonly used, but this recipe shows you how to make your own stock from kelp(konbu) and bonito flakes(katsuo-bushi). It's actually quite simple to make. You can enjoy this basic miso soup recipe with tofu and wakame seaweed and also impress your friends that you made it from scratch.

Seres 4       120 cal./serving

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 inch(10 cm) piece of kelp(Konbu)                          
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups loose bonito flakes(katsuo-bushi, hana-katsuo, kezuri-bushi)
  • 1/3-1/2 oz.(10-15g) dried wakame seaweed
  • 1 cake white tofu, 10 oz.(285g)
  • 4 Tbsp. medium salt miso
  • 1 rounded Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
  1. Do not wash kelp, as the white powder contains much of the flavor. Instead, wipe both sides of kelp with a damp cloth and cut 1/2 inch(1-1/2cm) slits at 1 inch(2-1/2cm) intervals. 
  2. Add cold water to a medium saucepan. When water is warm(100°F/38ºC) add kelp. Cook over medium heat and remove kelp just before water boil.
  3. Add bonito flakes to kelp broth and raise heat. When broth begins to boil, remove pan from heat immediately. Skim off any foam.
  4. Allow 2-3 minutes for flakes to settle to the bottom. Pour broth through a cheesecloth lined strainer to remove bonito flakes. The broth should be clear. 
  5. Soak wakame seaweed in water for about 10 minutes. Cut into 1 inch, (2-1/2cm) lengths. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch(1-1/2cm cubes).
  6. Heat bonito broth. remove about 1/2 cup of stock to dissolve miso. Put in a small bowl, ad miso and stir to dissolve miso until there are no lumps. Pour miso mixture back into pan. 
  7. Add tofu and wakame. Continue to heat until just before it boils.
  8. Serve in small soup bowls and garnish with diced green onion.

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