64. Miso Hungry

Soup64 "Congratulations!" the message at the bottom of the receipt should have read. "You are now the proud owner of a big, stinky bag of bonito flakes!"

Of course, my entree into the world of dashi-ingredient-ownership was met with no such fanfare. But maybe it should have been, considering how simple it is to make this super-quick soup stock which is the basis for dozens of traditional Japanese dishes.

The bonito flakes are pretty smelly, though. Definitely best to seal them up in a zip-top bag once you've opened them. Otherwise your turbinado sugar might pick up the smell/flavor, and then where would your cookies be?

This fairly by-the-book miso soup has all sorts of cures-what-ails-you powers ascribed to it. And I'm inclined to agree. Lovely if you've got any sort of cold/cough/chest thing going on, or a hangover, or even if you don't. Plus, even if you make your own dashi (apparently there's not-too-bad instant dashi available too), it takes maybe twenty minutes start to finish, tops.

Also, all these exotic-sounding ingredients should be available in the Asian foods aisle of any relatively well-stocked supermarket. If not… well, you can always follow the links.

Dashi (Japanese Soup Stock)
Makes four cups

1 four- to five-inch piece of wakame
4 cups water
1/2 cup dried bonito flakes

1 Tbsp soy sauce, preferably shoyu

Combine the water and the wakame in a lidded medium saucepan smallish soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil; once it boils, reduce heat and simmer for four minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the bonito flakes and let stand another five or so minutes. Strain and whisk in the soy sauce.

Miso Soup
Serves two to four, depending on how hungry you are

One recipe dashi
About three ounces of firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/3" dice
About four ounces cooked udon noodles
(optional, and not especially traditional, but yummy)
Three scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup miso (I like red miso
Additional soy sauce to taste, probably another 2-3 tsp

Bring the strained dashi to a simmer. Stir in tofu, udon noodles and scallions. Let simmer for a couple minutes just to heat everything through.

Meanwhile, place miso in a small bowl. Scoop out 1/2 cup of soup; add to miso and whisk until smooth. Whisk mixture back into soup.

Season with additional soy sauce and serve.


About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Food and Drink, Recipes, Soup 365 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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