Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Perfect Miso Soup

Blazing the Blizzard

I am sure you have all heard by now, that we are enduring the great Blizzard of 2015 here on the Eastern Seaboard. Its really cold, so the flakes are tiny and the snow is super powdery. I just watched the snow plow drive by and push through a powder keg of whiteness, exposing a streak of the ground below. And here it goes again down the other side of the road as we speak. Last night the winds howled and the trees creaked in the hollowness that swirled around in the storm. The weather hype makes me laugh. I heard on the radio yesterday that this was going to be the biggest storm in history. Hey guys, don't you remember last years storm that dumped 2 feet? And the year before that it was Nemo, in which something like 40 inches fell on Boston. We live in New England, this is normal. We humans are so quick to forget history. From the small scale like a blizzard to the large scale like war and genocide, we so quickly erase such memories from our brains.

I am just chomping at the bit to get this post up and turn out my Citrus Upside Down Olive Oil Cake that just came out of the oven, so that I can go out and brave the storm, run through the powder and fall into it to make a beautiful dusty snow angel.

Right before Christmas, my brothers Jake and Justin both flew in to town. One from Miami and the other L.A., yes we all prefer the warmer, sunnier climates. Anyway, we had lunch at Kushiya Benkay, its a local Japanese restaurant that has great, late night sushi for great prices and is pretty tasty and affordable over all. My older brother, Jake,had been craving this veggie noodle dish since he was here at Thanksgiving, and just had to go. My younger brother, Justin, wasn't so thrilled about having Japanese food at 11:15 am, what felt like breakfast time to him. This was the precursor to a little family tension, that we all of course laughed off with good humor. As usual Justin had all his holiday shopping done, and was ready to get to our folks house two hours north. Jake however hadn't realized the convenience of online shopping, except for his girl friend's gift, which he had thought far enough ahead of time to purchase online, and even ship to our folk's before Thanksgiving. So I ended up being his shopping consultant as we zoomed across the coast for 3 hours, with all the other last minute shoppers, looking for the right gifts for people, and Justin ended up being Zsuly's babysitter in the car, indulged her in her trying to convince him that she was an elf with pointy ears and elf shoes. So to get back to the food, Zsuly loved it! Not only eating up her chicken skewers, but finishing off my miso soup and beef skewers.

The other day she asked me if we could have that soup from the restaurant again. The miso soup. I was so excited for this request, that I jumped on getting all the ingredients and browsed some recipes for ideas. So with the news of the storm, the freed up time and a bit of relief of a morning of canceled Jury Duty I scampered around among the rest of the panicked storm shoppers yesterday to get the ingredients I didn't have at home. I figured what better excuse to cook, do some baking and work on the blog than a snow day.

This recipe is very simple and pretty quick. I read some recipes that called to make a Dash Stock, using Kombu Seaweed and Bonito Flakes. I couldn't find Bonito Flakes, so I just used the Kombu and some ginger.

Miso soup

  • 8 cups water
  • A few pieces of Kombu seaweed snipped coarsely
  • Thumb sized hunk of ginger, peeled
  • 3-4 oz of organic sprouted tofu, cubed 
  • 3 Tblsp of Wakame Seaweed, snipped and prepared as directed on package 
  • 2 scallions 
  • 4 tblsp yellow miso 
  • 1 carrot

Step 1: Stock
Boil 8 cups water boiled with kombu and ginger for about 20 minutes. Peel and thickly shave one carrot with a peeler. Chop the shavings and set aside.

Step 2:
The stock will be reduced to 6 cups of liquid. Simmer this with the miso and carrot shavings for 10 mins. Add seaweed and tofu to broth. Simmer 10 more minutes. Add sliced scallions

Serve accompanied with brown rice, broccoli and teriyaki beef, chicken or tofu skewers.

For the broccoli and steam it first, remove most of the water, then toss and quickly cook with the remaining teriyaki sauce, stirring frequently.

The recipe for the Teriyaki Sauce and the Skewers is in a separate post under meat and sauces.

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