Sunday, October 6, 2013

Miso Soup

What do Japanese people eat? Sushi? Maybe on special occasions. Miso soup? Hells yes, and lots of it.


 So, I want to do it right. It’s pretty easy. Take dashi. Mix with miso paste. Then add the fix’ns and you’re good. So, dashi is the broth. Here’s the way to do homemade.
First, the seaweed. There are a million, billion types of seaweed. The one we want is kombu. It’s the big, stiff ones.

Yeah, and they have white stuff on the surface. Salt and etc.- apparently you want this. Some recipes say wipe the kombu with a wet cloth first. I didn’t do that. Also, I cut mine in half since I was just doing a small pot of miso. 

Nestle it in a pot of water (probably a couple cups here) and let the seaweedy goodness leach out. No heat. Just sit and wait like 30 minutes or an hour or till you remember you were going to make miso soup in time for lunch, not dinner. Then you heat it up.

Just don’t leave yet. Apparently if you leave the kombu in and it starts to boil, it tastes a little funky. Avoid the funk and chopstick-grap it out when it gets in that pre-boil bubble stage.
Now you have some very light yellow-green broth. Now what? Now we add “bonito flakes” aka katsuobushi. The pink fish flakes you get at the oriental market. I’ve heard you are wiser to buy the single serving pack set and not the big bag, but follow your heart there. They make good cat treats if nothing else.

Your pot is boiling, right? Now you want to dump in the katsuobushi. Do it now!

Then let it boil 2 minutes or so.
Good job! Now strain out the katsuobushi. You now have dashi! Yay!

So now you want to add the miso paste, but let it return to a boil first. I think I used a tablespoon or a little bit more.

After the miso melts in and the soup is boiling for another minute or 2, add the fix’ns.
Wakame is another kind of seaweed. It’s all little dried up bits. These turn into silky pieces you are more familiar with in miso soup. I always overestimate. This is a fatal flaw.

Dump them in, add tofu too. Also, I forgot to add green onion. Arg! The anguish!

So here it is. Oh man, it’s seaweed soup. Way too much wakame. Next time…it will be better!

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