This is a Japanese dish made by adding Miso paste (a fermented soybean/grain curd) to fish soup. Doesn’t sound too lovely but it’s delicious and healthy. I learned this recipe from my flat mate while in university, which is odd because our usual meals consisted of eggs and sausage or take-aways.
It takes a bit of preparation, and some ingredients might be hard to find, but it’s pretty easy to make and is very tasty.
- 4 cups of water
- 1 sachet (about 20g) of Dashi (Japanese fish stock, carried by most asian food stores)
- 4-6 Tablespoons of Miso (I prefer barley miso, but see what you like best)
- A handful of dried Wakame seaweed
- 4-5 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced (preferably fresh but I only usually find dried ones)
- A pack of silken tofu (about 200g)
- 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
Soak the Wakame in warm water before starting out, ditto if you could only find dried shiitakes. Keep the water from the seaweed, it’s super nutritious.
Cut the tofu into small cubes.
Bring the water to boil in your pot, remember we’re gonna add a bunch of stuff so leave room. Add the dashi and stir. Once the dashi is all dissolved, add the tofu and let it simmer for a bit so the tofu absorbs the flavour from the dashi.
This next bit is super important, bring down the heat, from here on out you want the soup hot, but don’t let it boil again.The whole point to this dish is to experience the combination of individual flavours, so if you let it boil the flavours will all mix together.
Now take a small bowl and pour some of the soup into it, dissolve the miso paste into this and then pour the mixture into the soup and give it a good, slow stir. Now add all the other ingredients, stirring slowly. You can also chuck in the water from the seaweed, or keep it for something else. I also sometimes throw in less traditional vegetables for fun.
Let the soup simmer for about 5-7 minutes, again do not let it boil. Serve and enjoy.
I really like the combination of textures in this dish. I often play around by varying the size of the tofu cubes and how finely I cut up the vegetables. It’s a great winter soup and the miso has a hearty, almost meaty flavour (the darker barley miso I prefer reminds me a little of marmite).