When I came to the US, I was so amazed to see people eating SUSHI.
I had never thought that they knew any Japanese foods and more over eating raw fish was very challenging for them.
It has been more than 15 years since then, and now we could find many Japanese related foods in restaurants and grocery stores.
Even some American or Mexican restaurants have Japanese fusion food in their menus, and we could easily find soy sauce, sake, or other Japanese condiments in grocery stores.
I love reading food magazines, and I notice lots of recipes don’t to hesitate using miso these days.
Before people only enjoyed MISO in miso soups in restaurants, but now I think some families have miso in the fridge, and use it as one of regular condiments.
Today I introduce very basic menu using miso. That’s right!
Do you recognize what they are in the photo below?
I believe they are now familiar to you.
They are KOMBU.
I always keep cut KOMBU like this in pantry for easy use.
Because of their rich nutrients, KOMBU tea or water is now popular, and I often see them in stores (although I have never tried them.).
Here are ingredients for today’s miso soup.
(for 2 people / serving size a large bowl)
- 3 cups of water
- 3 inches of KOMBU
- dried seaweed (hydrated)
- 1/4 onion (sliced)
- chopped green onion (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of miso ( you could adjust the quantity ar you like)
For the stock of miso soup, I usually use KOMBU and NIBOSHI (small dried sardines), but I was out of NIBOSHI now, so today I only use KOMBU.
It is OK.
KOMBU sometimes have white substance on its surface.
This is the sugar mannitol, one of UMAMI substances.
If you have an overactive thyroid function, you need to be careful of not taking it too much, but otherwise it is good to take KOMBU because it is an excellent source of the vitamin B and is rich in iodine. calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Before using Kombu, we need to take dirt just in case, but try not to take UMAMI substance on its surface, so…..
just wipe with a wet towel very gently.
put KOMBU in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Then heat the pot, BUT!
You have to save this KOMBU before it gets boiling.
If you boil KOMBU water. KOMBU’s sticky substance comes out, and DASHI gets thick.
I saved KOMBU, and I don’t want to throw this away, so
I always save it for other use such as topping on TOFU or salad ,or as an accent of pickles.
Now we have DASHI stock for miso soup.
How about other ingredients for soup?
You can put anything you want!
Today I return to the basic, so I will use,,,
There is fresh WAKAME in Japan, but here we can not get it, so I use packed seaweeds.
There are two kinds of seaweeds here.
I believe you could get this type of dried seaweeds in any grocery stores these days.
It is very easy and covenient to use.
Just put some in water, and wait for 5-10 minutes.
Then you could get hydrated seaweed in front.
Today I will introduce the other type of packed seaweeds, which is,,,,
It is called ENZO WAKAME, which literally means salted seaweeds.
As you can see,,,
they are being preserved in salt.
I have to wash out these salt well before using, then,,,,,
do water bath for about 10 minutes.
They absorb the water gradually and get hydrated.
After 10 minutes, it changes ,,,,,
like seaweed you see in the sea!
Smells like ocean!
I really like the way they look!
Just one handful of dry seaweed becomes like,,,
Don’t you think it is AMAZING?
This gigantic seaweed has a thick string on top, so,,,,
take it off!
Now I can cut in a bite size.
I put the knife in 2 inches.
Then WAKAME is ready for the soup.
Other than these WAKAME, I will add,,,,
By the way, my husband’s favorite combination of miso soup ingredients is onion and potato, but I don’t like it, SO it seldom appears at my kitchen. If you like potato, you would love onion and potato combination.
When you put more than two kinds of ingredients, you want to add the one which needs more time to be cooked.
In this case, seaweed is edible as it is and also seaweed melts when it is cooked too much, so we want to add seaweed at the very end.
Now we can add MISO!
I have two kinds of miso at home now, and they are,,,,
white miso (right) and red miso (left).
White miso has milder flavor, so it is easy to use for anything from miso soup to dressing.
On the other hand, red miso (which actually is brown) has relatively a strong deep flavor of UMAMI, so it might overwhelm mild dishes, but is perfect for hearty soups, braises, and glazes.
Today I mix two of them.
This is the tool for MISO I believe every household in Japan has.
With this amount of white miso, I will add a little bit of,,,
You don’t want to boil the soup after you put miso because you lose its good flavor.
Dissolve miso gradually until it reaches adequate saltiness.
If you make good DASHI base, UMAMI enhances the flavor of soup, so you don’t need lots of saltiness.
That is one of the reason why you’d better make good DASHI!
Also as I told you, it is better to add WAKAME at the end.
Just warm the soup, trying not to boil.
If you want, you can add chopped green onions.
We don’t use a spoon to enjoy miso soup.
Eat the ingredients with chopsticks, and just drink directly from a bowl!
My husband noticed I added a little bit of red miso today, and he loved it!
Here are some suggestion of ingredients for miso soup.
- wakame (seaweed) and tofu
- onion and potato (yellow)
- daikon radish
My father likes putting oiled tuna! Also he likes put a little bit butter before drinking!
Use your imagination and try putting anything!