|Miso Broth With Tatsoi
This is my interpretation
of Miso soup-that fundamental Japanese brew-partnered here with a crisp
Tatsoi salad and garnished with silky tofu.
Miso soup is made with dashi, Japan's ubiquitous stock. The stock is
prepared with konbu, a nutritious seaweed, and flakes of dried bonito, a
fish that's long been a staple of the Japanese diet. Making the stock and
the soup is easy to do, but if you're pressed for time you can use dashi
powder stock. Look for brands that contain no MSG.
This makes a lovely light meal - welcome any time you need a simple but
1 piece (about 5X6 inches) konbu
1 cup bonito flakes
1/4 cup yellow Miso
2 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon wasabi powder
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons scallions (green part only) cut into 1/8 -inch slices
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 two to three ounce package Enoki mushrooms (substitute shiitake for
2 cups Tatsoi leaves (substitute Mache or baby spinach)
1 cake soft tofu (about 3x3x2 inches), cut horizontally into 4 1/4
1. To make the dashi, clean
the konbu by wiping it with a damp cloth. Place the konbu in a stockpot
with 5 cups of cold water and heat over medium heat. Just before the water
boils, remove the pot from the heat. Watch carefully; you do not want the
water to boil or the dashi will become too strongly flavored. Allow to
stand 5 minutes, remove the konbu and return the pot to medium heat. When
the stock once again nears the boiling point, remove the pot from the heat
and add the bonito flakes. When the flakes sink to the bottom of the pot,
strain the dashi through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. Measure 4
cups of dashi into the stockpot, reserving the rest for another use.
2. Add the Miso and ginger to the dashi and bring to a simmer over medium
heat. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove the ginger.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the wasabi and
vinegar and stir to
blend. Whisk in the soy
sauce, scallions, and sugar, and season to taste
with the salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine the Enoki and Tatsoi;
add the wasabi vinaigrette and toss to coat.
4. Carefully place 1 slice of the tofu in each of 4 soup bowls. Ladle the
broth on top, place a small mound of the salad on each of the tofu
portions, and serve.
Ming's Tip: This recipe yields about 5 cups of dashi. Extra
dashi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up
to 1 month.