It’s a cold, rainy and all together turgid December day. I’ve stayed up too late for too many nights in a row now and the only thing holding off illness is adrenalin and survival instinct. What can I eat to make my self feel as though I’ve spent a week in a health spa doing pilates? – Enter Miso Soup! – this fermented soya paste is imparted with the collected wisdom of a thousand generations of Japanese mothers.
According to Madhur Jaffery, Miso is so rich in oestrogenic compounds that, by drinking a bowl every day, she has staved of the need to take HRT for the menopause. I heard this on Radio 4 so it is a gospel fact.
I dissolve a good sized spoonful of quality miso in a bowl of Dashi stock. Dashi stock can either be made from scratch (which I will cover in another post), or be made from a dashi stock powder but make sure to avoid ones with MSG, a good bouillon powder is actually fine too. I’ve recently noticed that at least one high-end supermarket now sells Dashi stock in liquid pouches but for me this would get quite expensive.
Then all you do is add a little diced tofu and some spring onions and ´hey presto´ a enormously tasty, heathy meal that may give you Jedi powers, and will certainly make you more beautiful and clever.
This is the Miso I’m using at the moment. It’s technically a red miso not a Hatcho, but I love it. You can also buy little tiny sachets of miso soup, with a little seaweed in to jazz them up, which you simply pop in a mug and add hot water to. A cup-a-soup for the discerning gourmand. Some are better than other but they’re great for a mid afternoon pep up and make an easy edition to a bento box lunch.
Simple Miso Soup
- A good quality miso paste. Preferable red.
- Dash stock either in powdered form or made from scratch.
- Some sea weed. Wakame is good or failing that a bit of Nori.
- Diced tofu, not silken.
- Chopped Spring onions.
- Optionally a little coriander to sprinkle on top.
Make the dashi stock by either adding the granuals to hot water or pour your fresh made dashi into a pan. Then take a small amount of the stock into a cup and dissolve a big heaped table spoon of miso paste into it, do this by stirring, and squashing it into the side of the cup with the back of a spoon. It will eventually mostly dissolve. Be careful to this well, as no one wants a surprise mouthful of undissolved miso, it’s a bit much by anyones pallet!
This done pour it back into the rest of the stock, add the tofu, spring onions, sea weed ( wakame needs to be dehydrated first for 10 mins in a cup of water ) and simmer, very gently for a couple of minutes.
Pour into a lovely bowl, something dark and moody. Give it a last stir before you drink it. No spoon necessary. A bit of slurping is good.
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