10 March 2013

Japanese Cooking 101 : Miso & Clear Soup


As I announced in my post on Feb. 22, Maki from JustHungry started an online Japanese cooking course (Japanese Cooking 101), initiating us into the wonderful world of Washuko cuisine. The first lesson was all about making dashi and then using that dashi for cooking miso and clear soup.

Personally, I have never been a huge miso soup fan.  Don't get me wrong, I do like the occasional bowl, but I just can't become lyrical about it. And even a homemade version hasn't turned it into a favourite, although I have to admit that I prefer the homemade version to the ones I have taste until now.

For the preparation of the dashi, I refer you to the post Maki wrote about it (It's all about the Dashi).  The step by step preparation is impeccably explained and contains all the information needed for the preparation of the aromatic basis of the soups below.

I used the 1L of dashi to make 2 servings of respectively miso and clear soup, using Maki's cooking course post Lesson 1-Addendum: Making Miso Soup and Clear Soup with Dashi as a guideline.

Tofu & Wakame Miso Soup:


Ingredients (for 2 servings) :

* 500 ml dashi
* 1,5 Tbs dried wakame
* 100g silken tofu, diced
* 1 scallion, sliced
* 2 Tbs miso paste

Preparation :

Because all the ingredients I used, don't have to be cooked just heated through, this soup is a really quick fix.

Bring the dashi to a boil before, then lower the heat again and let the liquid simmer.

Add the diced tofu and after a minute the wakame.

Dissolve in a separate bowl, the miso paste in a bit of the soup's liquid before adding it to the pot.  As Maki pointed out, you should never put the miso paste directly into the soup as proceeding this way could cause salty lumps in the miso soup.

As soon as the miso has been added, remove from the fire, stir well with the remaining ingredients and serve hot in a bowl.

Tofu & Shiitake Clear Soup:
 

Ingredients used (for 2 servings) :

* 500 ml dashi
* 1 Tbs dried wakame
* 100g silken tofu, diced
* 1 scallion, sliced
* 1 fresh shiitake mushroom
* 0,5 tsp soy sauce
* 1 tsp sake
* 0,5 tsp mirin

Preparation :

I used too many ingredients for this soup and as a result you can't really tell it is a clear soup.  I should have used less of the tofu, but it was the end of the package I had and I didn't want to put just a sliver of tofu back in the fridge. If I had to do it again, I'd probably stick to two ingredients : a smaller amount of tofu and just the mushroom as a vegetable.

Bring the dashi to a boil before, then lower the heat again and let the liquid simmer.
Add the soysauce, sake and mirin.
Add the shiitake, and shortly after the diced tofu.
Let the soup simmer until the ingredients are heated through.
Season to taste with salt if necessary.

Serve hot in a bowl.


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