Monday, March 11, 2013

Miso Soup with Homemade Shiitake Dashi

Now a days you can find miso soup sold in stores but nothing compares to the flavor of miso soup made with your very own dashi and a clever combination of miso pastes. A bowl of this soup with undoubtedly cure any ailments, any case of the Mondays and wash stress right out the door. My recipe is for a double batch because I love it so much but feel free to half the recipe.

While a well stocked grocery store and probably all natural foods stores will have these ingredients, I reccomend checking out the local Asian grocery store in your town to pick up your supplies. Not only will they have everything in one stop but they will be much MUCH cheaper than anywhere else.
To compare:
5 oz dried shiitake mushrooms at my Asian grocery was $2.89 but at my normal grocery store 1 oz of dried shiitake costs $5! It would have cost me $25 to make this broth!
A pound of dried seaweed cost me 99 cents, at the normal store, $4.
A pound of fried onions cost me 2.39, at the normal store, $12.
Not to mention the tofu is cheaper, fresh (meaning it is not sitting in water and only good for a few days)and already pressed for me.
It really pays to shop out of your comfort zone and check out a new store that has all the ingredients you need and so many more you will use in the future. FYI- coconut milk comes in 21oz cans for $1.49 but at the normal grocery store they come in 15oz cans for $3.69. Stock up people!

Rich, savory homemade dashi steeped with dried shiitake mushrooms and seaweed and ladled hot into bowls with tofu, scallions and fried onions. This soup is soul changing.

Shiitake Dashi
16 cups cold water
5 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup dried seaweed

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Heat up the broth, the longer it takes to come to a boil the better. Once it starts to boil (this should take about 20 minutes), immediately strain the mushrooms and seaweed out. Remove the dashi from the heat until ready to make the soup.

Miso Soup
serves 6 -this recipe and the dashi can easily be cut in half
1 batch shiitake dashi
2/3 cup red miso paste
1/3 cup yellow miso paste
1 lb firm (silken or not) tofu, drained and pressed for at least 1 hour, cut into medium cubes
1 bunch roughly chopped scallions, green parts only
2-3 tbl fried onions, optional but VERY recommended for garnish

Heat the dashi up in a pot over medium heat. Once it begins to boil, remove 2 cups and set aside in a large bowl.
Add both miso pastes to the 2 cups of broth and whisk to combine.
Pour back into the large pot and stir. Return the both to a light simmer and add the tofu and scallions. Make sure the broth does not boil. Cook for 10 minutes then serve with a sprinkle of options fried onions.

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