Miso Soup

From: Rainer Thonnes rwt@dcs.ed.ac.uk
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 17:17:53 GMT

1.5 cubic inches  Miso (fermented soybean paste)
1 small           Potato [*]
0.5 teaspoon      Special Seasoning [**]
0.5 teaspoon      Wakame (dried seaweed) [***]
few dashes        Tamari soy sauce (optional)

Thinly slice the potato and boil it in enough water for 2 bowlsful of
soup.  Meanwhile soak the wakame in cold water for a few minutes, during
which it will expand to about seven times its dry volume and lose some
of its salty taste.  Add the special seasoning to the boiling potato.
Just before the potato is cooked, strain the seaweed (discarding the
water in which it has been soaking), and add it to the soup.  When the
potato is cooked, remove from heat and add the miso.  This is best done
by placing it into a small hand-held sieve or tea strainer, then dipping
it into the soup and jiggling it around.  If necessary, gently force the
miso through the sieve using a teaspoon.  Do not boil after miso has
been added as this will impair the flavour and consistency.  Season to
taste with soy sauce if you like.

[*] You don't have to use potato.  You can use carrot or almost any
other vegetable or even tofu.

[**] This special seasoning, obtainable at shops which specialise in
Japanese food ingredients, is a powder normally sold in 10g sachets.  It
is sold particularly for Udon or Soba or Miso Soup, and for the latter
they recommend using 1g per serving.  I understand it contains Bonito
among other things and adds a mildly fishy flavour.  If you can't get
any, you can use the appropriate portion of a stock cube (fish or
vegetable would be best), but only make it about half strength or so,
you want most of the flavour of the soup to come from the Miso.

[***] Good quality Wakame comes in small fine leaves.  If you can only
get the large coarse ones you may need to trim off the hard parts. Also,
if they're big, it's impractical to measure with a teaspoon, so just
break off a few pieces.  If you can't get wakame at all you could use
scallions or green onions, particularly their leafy parts.


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