Tag Archives: miso soup

Shiitake Mushroom Miso Soup

Don’t mind the TV remote in the photo, it’s natural.  Anyways, I’m currently eating vegan for the week and have wanted to try out some dashi variations.  Dashi is the traditional Japanese stock that is the base of most of the cultures sauces and soups.  Dashi is traditionally made with kombu, a type of kelp loaded with delicious glutamate, and katsuoboshi or bonito flakes, a dried, smoked, cured, smoked, dried, smoked, cured, aged fish.  Basically you turn a fish into a brick then you shave it as if you were widdling wood.  Though while Buddhism was being introduced to the country people started adopting vegetarian diets and the dried mushroom dashi was born.  That all being said, I wanted delicious miso soup and this hit the spot!

mushroom miso soup

SHIITAKE MUSHROOM MISO SOUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 2qt – Water
  • 1 – 3×4″ Kombu Chunk
  • 4-5 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 3tbs – Aka(red) Miso Paste
  • 2oz – Firm Tofu, 1/4″ dice
  • 1 – Green Onion, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1tsp – Vegetable Oil

RECIPE

  1. Soak kombu in water 30 mins
  2. Remove kombu and heat until just barely simmering, remove from heat
  3. Return kombu and add mushrooms, let sit 30 minutes
  4. Remove kombu and mushrooms, slice mushrooms into 1/4″ strips
  5. Bring dashi stock to a simmer, using a wooden spoon, stir in miso paste until fully dissolved, then taste and add more if needed
  6. Saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil 3-4 minutes until lightly caramelized
  7. Drain on paper towel, then add mushrooms, green onions, and tofu
  8. Pour into a bowl and enjoy!
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Spinach & Tofu Soup

I know, I’ve disappeared off the face of the Earth for a couple months. . . I apologize, I’ve been working on building my knowledge and credibility in food.  Now I manage a few restaurants, do some catering, AND I will be hosting an hour long cooking panel at Anime Expo next weekend for any fellow Japanese fans that will be in Los Angeles.  Here’s the info (yes this is a shameless plug):

 

ANIME EXPO

How to Cook Japanese Food w/ Eating in Bed

July 5th

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Los Angeles Convention Center

I’ll be demonstrating how to make Dashi Broth, Soba Noodles, and Sushi Rice, then preparing a few dishes with them.

 

This one’s a really quick soup to make that has some great flavors and it diverts from a traditional miso soup in that it uses a chicken stock instead of a dashi broth.  It also diverts from the Japanese flavor profile with the use of lemongrass, which is generally used more in Thai/Cambodian cuisine, as well as dried baby shrimp that lends itself more to the Korean flavor profile.  All of them come together to make a soup that’s got a nice richness, some sourness, a little heat, and it can all be made in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups – chicken stock
  • 1.5 tbs – white miso paste
  • 1 tbs – dried baby shrimp, ground
  • 2 tsp – ground lemongrass
  • 1 tsp – salt
  • 4oz – firm tofu cut in rectangles
  • 3/4 cup – frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup – frozen green peas
  • 2 tsp – butter
  • 1 tsp – black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp – togarashi
  • OPTIONAL GARNISH – Green Onion

Recipe

  1. To prep your firm tofu, cut it into rectangles and dry it by placing it on paper towels and patting it with paper towels, having it drained will allow it to absorb the flavors more
  2. Bring stock to boil
  3. Add spinach and peas; bring to boil
  4. Add miso paste and ground shrimp, bring to boil
  5. Add salt, lemongrass, try it and adjust seasoning
  6. Add tofu, butter, togarashi, and sesame seeds, serve!

How to Make Dashi Broth (Ichiban Dashi)

This one’s a fun one for anyone interested in Japanese cooking, it’s the building block of most Japanese soups, and sauces.  We’re talking about dashi!  It’s a fish stock/broth that really doesn’t require much cooking, it really doesn’t require much of anything considering it’s two ingredients and water, but those ingredients speak for themselves, and that’s the entire point.  Minimalism, simplicity, and allowing good ingredients to be the stars.  Obviously for your first couple tries you’re going to want to use the cheap stuff, but once you’ve made a few dashi stocks you’ll want to improve the quality of your ingredients as well as refine your technique.  I’ve heard of several different methods of making dashi, and this is one of my favorites because of its speed and attention to the ingredients.

Katsuoboshi or Bonito Flakes, available at any Asian Market
Katsuoboshi or Bonito Flakes, available at any Asian Market

INGREDIENTS

  • 1QT – Water
  • 1 – 5×3 Rectangle of Kombu
  • 3/4Cup – Katsuoboshi (Bonito Flakes)
Kombu, Dried Kelp, also at Asian Markets
Kombu, Dried Kelp, also at Asian Markets

RECIPE

  1. Bring water to a simmer, remove from heat
  2. Add in the kombu
  3. Allow to cool to room temp, about 30 minutes
  4. Remove kombu
  5. Bring water back to a simmer, remove from heat
  6. Add bonito flakes, let sit 3-4 mins
  7. Strain through chinois or cheese cloth lined colander
Miso Soup is made with Dashi. . . but that's for another article!!!
Miso Soup is made with Dashi. . . but that’s for another article!!!

There you have it, the basis for Japanese soups, broths, and sauces.  Remember that this is just one way to make it, and why did I decide on this version?  Because it doesn’t require you to soak your kombu overnight, it also doesn’t require you to boil your kombu.  Soaking overnight develops great flavor, but most home cooks don’t want to dedicate that much effort to stock, and even though it’s faster to bring your kombu to a boil then cut off the heat and steep it that way, you also run the risk of damaging the flavor of the kombu.  By treating the kombu itself like a teabag you will be able to steep all the flavors without damaging any of the delicate nature of the kelp.  Theoretically, one of the best methods would be to bring your water to a boil, remove from heat, and add both your kombu and bonito flakes(in cheesecloth sachet), then just retrieve the bonito after 5 minutes, and leave the kombu to steep for another 25 minutes.  I’ll try it out, and I recommend you do the same if you want to make delicious miso soup, or shiitake mushroom soup!