Sunday, August 16, 2009

The last supper

Tomorrow is my first day back to work after the summer break, so I chose one of the most comforting foods I could think of: miso soup. Now, this may seem like an odd choice but I love miso soup. I mean I REALLY LOVE miso soup. When I'm sick it is what I crave and when we are out eating in a Japanese restaurant, I always manage to eat my husband's as well as mine (luckily... he doesn't mind too much). This particular soup, I amped up with tons of vegetables and some rice noodles, which is sacrilege I am sure but delicious nonetheless.

We followed it with my first homemade sushi attempt (which totally felt like cheating because it was so easy), inari sushi. Everything (except the rice) that I needed for the sushi came in this little kit, which I bought at the Asian grocery store:

There were no English directions, so I used the pictures as a clue and in about the time it took to cook the sticky rice we had delicious little pockets of tofu stuffed with seasoned rice and a packet of garnishes cutely labeled "flake". I usually only get this in sushi restaurants but the home version was equally good. Here is the finished product:

After a final survey we concluded that I loved the inari and DH thought that they were "ok". He seemed to prefer eating a big bowl of the sticky rice with some cucumber. The next time I make sushi at home, my goal is to do it like these guys:

Now since the sushi was essentially rice and tofu, we ate tons of miso soup tonight. My husband even said that it was better than the stuff you get in restaurants!

Deluxe Miso Soup


a 2-inch piece of kombu, rinsed (a type of seaweed)
4 pieces of dried shitake mushroom
small bunch chives
splash rice wine
splash soy sauce

a handful of dried rice noodles
2 cups of mixed chopped vegetables of your choice and tofu
(* I used carrots, chives, napa, laver, red peppers, peas and tofu)
2 TBS miso (fermented soybean paste)


Begin by making your Dashi. Fill a two quart stock pot with water. Add the kombu, chives and dried mushrooms and bring to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes, then add the wine and soy sauce. After 15 more minutes, strain out the solids, reserving the mushrooms. Taste the Dashi and add more soy if necessary.

Take a moment to chop the rehydrated shitakes.

Bring the broth back to a boil. Reduce heat and add the noodles. Once noodles are soft add the other vegetables, tofu and the shitakes. Heat through and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the miso but do not allow the liquid to boil again. Serve immediately.

Miso is excellent for your health. It is high in many trace minerals, including zinc, manganese and copper. Some studies also suggest that it may help prevent breast cancer among women. Plus it is super tasty. I am no doctor though, so do not take my advice in place of a medical professional!! This information is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure anything... Got it? Be smart and do your own research!

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