Homemade Miso Soup Simply Delicious
The first dish served with a meal, in just about any Japanese restaurant is a tasty, warm bowl of Miso Soup. It’s light briny flavor and fresh sea scent is refreshing and palate cleansing.
So what gives this savory dish it’s purely delightful smell and taste? Dashi!
Dashi is the base of the soup. It is a simple combination of water, Kombu (Kelp) seaweed strips (on the left in the picture above), and Bonito flakes (in the red cup above). The Japanese name for Bonito flakes is Katsuobushi.
The Kombu is soaked in cold water for 15 minutes to release it’s flavor and scent and then carefully heated but not boiled. Then the Bonito flakes are added after the pot is removed from the heat. They are kept in the warm water just long enough to release their flavor and then they are discarded along with the Kombu.
Note: If kept in the water too long, the Bonito flakes will give the broth a fishy taste and odor. Only leave them in for 15 minutes max.
This base is used in many different Japanese soups and dishes.
Note: The terrific thing about dried seaweed is that it will keep for about two years if stored in an airtight container and away from light.
To get the maximum amount of flavor soaked into the tofu, it is pressed and strained. This releases the water and allows the Dashi to penetrate the cell walls of the tofu easily. Btw, make sure you get firm or extra firm tofu, as it comes in soft, firm and extra firm. If you get the soft it’ll fall apart on you when you press it. To further strain the water out of the tofu, I made this nifty hanger out of a clip and a pencil.
The tofu, Wakame seaweed strips (in the second picture above and on the right) and chopped chives are placed in the bowl and the hot Dashi is poured over. After a few seconds, the dried Wakame seaweed becomes soft and silky tender.
* A tip on chives… I have a couple of deck planters that I keep just outside my kitchen door for things that I recycle, like chives. Just keep the root ends and instead of throwing them away, put them in a cup of water for a day or so and then stick them in some dirt, root side down. You can keep them inside or outside. In a few days you’ll have a whole new set of chives ready for eating. Nice, huh? Free food is always nice! 🙂
I do hope you’ll give this recipe a try. As you can see, it’s easy to put together. And since I cant pass a bowl through the screen, you’ll have to make it for yourself and taste how yummy it is.
Have a beautiful day foodie friends and as always, keep it delicious! Till next time ~ much love, Connie
- 1 block firm tofu
- 4 C cold water
- 2 lg dried kombu seaweed strips
- 1/2 C bonito flakes
- 2 tbsp miso paste white chickpea
- 1 C dried wakame seaweed strips
- chopped chives for garnish
- Place the tofu block between two plates or cutting boards and press for 30 minutes.
- Wrap the tofu in cheese cloth and secure with a clip.
- Use a large measuring cup or pitcher to hang the tofu over from a wooden spoon or pencil to strain. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large pot, soak the kombu seaweed in the water for 15 minutes.
- Place the pot over medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to just come to a simmer then turn the heat off.
- Add the bonito flakes and allow to sit for about 10 minutes or until the flakes settle to the bottom.
- Remove the kombu with tongs.
- Using a coffee filter placed in a fine wire mesh sieve, strain the bonito flakes out of the liquid and discard them.
- Place the liquid back in the pot and reheat over medium.
- Take the tofu out of the fridge and cut it into bite sized chunks.
- Stir the miso paste into the pot and heat through.
- Place the wakame seaweed strips and the tofu chunks in serving bowls.
- Pour the hot liquid into the bowls and garnish with chives.