Sunday, June 13, 2010

Miso soup

I love miso soup, really, it's one of my favorite things.  What I don't love, however, is having to pay like $3-$4 at a restaurant for a tiny cup!  So, after watching an episode of Good Eats, I set out to the Asian market to pick up the ingredients.

First, I have to give myself a pat on the back for successfully navigating the aisles and finding what I need, even with things not clearly printed in English (thank God for see through packaging!).  Total cost was about $13, and I can make boatloads of miso soup with this stuff (at least the miso paste, I have a feeling I'm going to be tossing some of it if I don't find more uses for it...)

What you want to do first is make your dashi (which is basically a stock used in Japanese cooking):
  • 2 4-inch squares of kombu
  • 2 1/2 quarts of water
  • 1/2 ounce bonito flakes (about 2 cups)
Put the kombu in a 4 quart saucepan, cover with water and soak for 30 minutes.

Set the saucepan over medium heat until the water reaches 150-160 degrees and small bubbles form around the edges of the pot.  (Around 9-10 minutes).

Remove the kombu from the pan and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and add the bonito flakes (warning, these flakes STINK so don't take a whiff, but the finished product?  Can't smell it at all).  Simmer gently, stirring frequently for 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with muslin or cheesecloth.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Use within a week or freeze for up to a month (or let it cool a bit and use it to make the miso soup).

Miso Soup: 
  • 12 ounce block tofu (I used medium firm)
  • 2 quarts dashi
  • 6 tablespoons dark or red miso
  • 2 tablespoons light or white miso
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
Wrap the tofu in layers of paper towel and put on a plate with a plate on top weighted with a 28 ounce can of tomatoes or beans (this will absorb some of the water out of the tofu).  Leave for about 20 minutes then unwrap the paper towel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Heat the dashi in a 4 quart saucepan over medium high heat.  When the dashi reaches 100 degrees on an instant read thermometer, ladle 1 cup into a small bowl.  Add the miso and whisk until smooth.

Bring the remaining dashi to a bare simmer, approximately 10 minutes.  Add the miso to the mixture and whisk to combine.  Return to a slight simmer, being careful not to boil the mixture.  Add the tofu and scallions and cook for another minute or two.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

This soup was delicious, and tasted exactly like I've had in restaurants.  My biggest complaint is that it made such a large serving and it really doesn't keep too long, but I will definitely be making it again!

1 comment:

  1. Wow nice entry, with all the pictures! Just what I need, I'm a visual learner hehe.