Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Why You Should Make Miso Soup

Posted April 24, 2009

Kombu Stock with Dried Mushrooms
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Makes about 8 cups

If you want to do as I do, use half the stock for a simple miso soup (recipe follows), refrigerate the other half, and use it as described above.  Don’t fear the seaweed!  Any grocery store with a decent Asian section should have both kombu and wakame.  While you are buying those, pick up some nori for the recipe coming in the next post!

8 dried Chinese black or shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch scallions, including most of the greens, chopped
2 carrot, thinly sliced
1- 6 inch strip dried kombu
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
3 tbsp. rice wine (mirin)
Salt and sugar to taste

Shake the mushrooms in a strainer to loosen any dirt, then put them in a pot along with 9 cups of water and the rest of the ingredients except the salt and sugar.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Taste and add a pinch of salt and/or sugar to bring up the flavors.  Adjust the balance of soy sauce to miring if needed.  Strain the stock, but retrieve the mushrooms and carrots to use in soup.

Miso-Tofu Soup with Wakame

If you are new to Miso Soup, I would suggest buying white miso which is more mellow than some of the other varieties.  If you want a stronger flavor, try the barley miso.

8 leaves dried wakame “leaves”
4 cups kombu stock
3 tbsp. miso
1/2 – 1 cup finely diced silken tofu, soft or firm
3 scallions, including a little bit of the greens, thinly sliced

Soak the wakame in lukewarm water until soft, about 15 minutes.  Feel for any tough parts and cut them away – there’s usually kind of a core.  Tear the rest into smaller pieces or slice them into thin ribbons.  Bring the stock to a boil.

Dilute the miso with 1 cup of the stock.  Whisk it around so that all the miso dissolves.  Add the wakame and tofu to the remaining stock and simmer until the tofu has risen to the surface, 4 – 5 minutes.  Stir the diluted miso back into the pot and bring nearly to a boil.  Add the scallions and serve.

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