Thursday, February 26, 2009


I use instant Dashi - kind of like Japan’s version of chicken boullion. If you didn’t have Dashi, you could use diluted chicken stock…but it just wouldn’t taste right. But hey, if you really wanted miso soup and thats all you had, go for it. Just make sure you dilute the chicken stock - 70% water, 30% stock…otherwise your miso soup will end up tasting like chicken soup. Alright, back to the dashi. You could also make dashi from kombu and bonito flakes, but this recipe is the 10 minute miso soup, therefore instant dashi works just fine. Instant dashi can also come in a convenient glass jar.

Other uses for dashi stock- boil your edamame in dashi instead of just plain water. They will taste SO much better.
Blanch or steam vegetables in dashi stock.

This is dried seaweed. Just a tablespoon of the dried wakame will be enough for a pot of miso soup to feed 4. Soak this in a little water and watch it expand. There are many, many different kinds of seaweed, but this one is made especially for eating in miso soup. Look at the package first. Of course, I can’t read Japanese, but the back of this package shows an illustration of miso soup and little arrows pointing to put the seaweed in the soup and a happy smiling face drinking the soup. Therefore it must mean seaweed fortified with Prozac.

This is the miso paste that I found in the refrigerated section of the Asian market. Many regular supermarkets have miso paste as well. I generally buy organic, but this is all I found last week. I like Shiro Miso the best - its lighter, sweeter, little less salty. The most important thing about making miso soup is that you never boil the miso paste. Only add miso after you’ve turned off the heat. So, if you are using anything that needs a little cooking time, just do that before you add the miso paste.

Organic tofu. Cut into little cubes. I’ve tried making my own tofu before. Lots of work for very little tofu. I’d rather buy a block of the organic stuff.

10 Minute Miso Soup
serves 4 4 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons instant dashi powder
1/2 cup miso paste
1 tablespoon dried seaweed (for miso soup), soaked in
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cubed tofu
1 tablespoon chopped green onion

1. Boil water. Add dashi. Turn down heat. Stir.

2. Add tofu and drained seaweed. Let cook for a minute on low. In meantime, spoon 1/2 cup of the hot stock into bowl with the miso paste. Using chopsticks, mix to melt the miso paste so that it becomes a smooth mixture.

3. Turn off heat. Add all of the miso. Stir. Serve. Top with chopped green onion.

4. Drink up. Other ingredients you could add to the miso soup: sliced shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced leeks, spinach, crab meat, egg, fish cake.

Miso Soup

Recipe by Amy Beh

750g water
2¾ tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp dashi
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

1 roll Japanese soft bean curd, cut into 10
8 pieces Japanese roasted seaweed, cut into thin strips
2 tbsp chopped spring onions
Put water in a pot and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil add miso paste and dashi.

Add the Japanese bean curd slices, reduce the heat and simmer the soup over medium heat for 1–2 minutes. Add salt, sugar and sesame oil.

Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with spring onions and lots of seaweed strips. Serve the soup hot.

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