Miso soup is one of the foundations of Japanese food. It is usually present in meals throughout the day as a starter or side dish. The history of this delicious and easy-to-prepare traditional dish can be traced back to ancient times. Dashi and miso paste are the basic ingredients of the soup. Dashi is a light clear fish-based broth used as a fundamental ingredient in soups, stews, grilled food, and many other dishes. The most common way to prepare dashi is by boiling a dried umami flavor-base such as kelp, anchovy, bonito, or shitake in unsalted water. You can even buy instant dashi powder in Asian stores but they may contain additives such as glutamate and inosinate which can be harmful to one’s health. Miso paste, the main flavor element of the soup, is made from fermented ground soybeans and salt. The color and flavor of the miso paste depend on how long the beans have aged. The white miso paste has a mild flavor while the dark reddish-brown one has a stronger flavor. This recipe also uses tofu cubes and chopped green onions for added flavor and texture. Make this low calorie, protein-rich soup at home and serve with any full meal of the day. You can also add more ingredients to make the soup a meal on its own.
This recipe takes about 15 minutes to make. Serves 4 to 5.
• 4 cups of water
• 2 handfuls or 1 cup of bonito flakes
• 1 tofu block
• 4 to 5 tbsp miso paste
• 2 green onions, finely chopped
To make the dashi or fish broth, pour water into a pot.
Add bonito flakes and boil over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain the stock into another pot.
Boil the broth over high heat, then reduce to medium heat.
Cut the tofu block into ½-inch cubes, then add them to the broth.
After about 2 to 3 minutes, reduce heat to low.
Put the miso paste in a small strainer.
Dip the bottom part of the strainer into the broth.
Use chopsticks or a spoon to move the miso paste around so it gradually dissolves into the broth.
Sprinkle chopped green onions on top, then remove from heat.
Transfer miso soup to small bowls.
Ideas And Tips:
• Aside from bonito flakes, you can use dried kelp, dried anchovies or dried shitake mushrooms. You can even use a combination of two or all of them.
• If you are adding vegetables, seafood or meats, cook them first in the broth before adding the tofu cubes.
• Straining the miso paste is not a requirement. This technique just makes it easier for the miso to dissolve, so you no longer need to stir the soup with a ladle, which can break the delicate tofu.
• You can prepare dashi ahead of time and just refrigerate or freeze it. When you are ready to make the soup, take it out from the fridge and boil it in a pot. Dashi placed in a sealed container can last in the fridge for 3 to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 weeks.
images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH7pgsnyGrI