Monday, February 21, 2011

How to make Miso Soup at home

It is very simple to make Miso Soup at home and I highly recommending you to try this before you reach out to one of those instant miso soup packages.  

Ingredients (for four):
  • 6 cups of water
  • Dried kelp (3-5 inch / 8-12 cm piece)
  • 2-3 packages or handful of bonito flakes (katsuo bushi)
  • 2 tablespoons of miso (red or white)
We will make "dash" (savory broth) first. Dashi is the base for many Japanese dishes. Wipe the white coating of kelp (kobu) and soak it in a pot with 6 cups of water for 30 mins to an hour before you make this soup (If you do not have time to soak the kelp an hour before, place a kelp in a pot and bring it to simmer).  Bring this pot with the kelp to simmer and take the kelp out of the pot. Add bonito flakes (katsuo bushi) into the pot and once it started to simmer, scoop out the flakes. This is your basic "dash" (savory broth). 

If you are adding vegetables, such as onion, radish, eggplant, etc, this is when you add those ingredients to the broth. Bring it to boil and when the vegetables are cooked, turn the heat low to add miso. If you are only adding tofu and seaweed, no need to boil the broth; simple add tofu and seaweed, and then add miso. Make sure to completely dissolve miso by using two spoons; hold miso in one and dissolve the miso in a spoon. If you add the miso right into the pot, it will stay at the bottom of the pot. Adjust the taste by adding more miso.  Do not boil water once you add miso. This will destroy the flavor. You may garnish with finely chopped scallion (spring onion).

Suggested things to add to your miso soup:
  • Tofu
  • Seaweed (wakame)
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Scallion
  • Onion
  • Littleneck clams (asari) - make sure to take the sands out by soaking them in a salted water at least for an hour before you use

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