Saturday, May 26, 2007

Traditional Miso Soup (Japan)


I love home-cooked soups. I fell in love with them when I was working in an authentic French bakery while I was working for the Red Sox so I could learn baking secrets and some French. I would get up before dawn and walk to the bakery from my hotel to work for a few hours during the mornings for about 3 days per week. It was a great experience. The owners were from the south of France. Their food there was sooo fresh and delicious. There was not one thing on their menu that I didn't absolutely love. The bakery is called Bara Bread Bistro & Bakery on 1520 Broadway in Fort Myers, Florida. They used to make a wonderful carrot soup. I can still taste it when I close my eyes and think about it.

Another thing I make sure to include in my diet is bacteria. I eat a lot of yogurt and cultures. This helps to keep my digestive system in order. When the digestive system is healthy, it shows in our skin and in our immune system. I also try to take acidophilus pills. This is why I love Miso soup. It not only tastes delicious, it contains bacteria that help the digestive system.

Unpasteurized miso
is a "living food" containing natural digestive enzymes, Lactobacillus, and other microorganisms which aid in the digestion of all foods, and which have been shown to ward off and destroy harmful microorganisms, thereby creating a healthy digestive system.

This is the traditional miso soup, but you'll have to find dashi soup stock to make it, or you can substitute with vegetable stock. Tofu, also made from soybeans, gives the soup lots of calcium and protein and helps fill you up.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 2 green onions, white and green, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 4 cups dashi soup stock, found in your local Asian grocery (My favorite supermarket - Uwajimaya)

Directions

  1. Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil. Add tofu to the soup. Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso paste in it. Return the soup in the pan. Stop the heat and add chopped green onion. Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in.
OR

THINGS YOU'LL NEED: INGREDIENTS
(Use organic ingredients whenever possible)
Measuring cups
Knife
Saucepan

Small strainer

Ladle
Chopsticks or spoon
4 cups water
1 piece konbu (kelp), about 5" long*
1 cup bonito (dried fish flakes)*
5 tablespoons miso*
1/2 package tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 scallions, cut into thin slices
Soy sauce (optional)
* Note: Konbu, bonito, and miso can be found in most health food, Asian, and gourmet grocery stores.
Let's Make It!

Adult: In the saucepan over medium-high heat, place the water and konbu. Heat for 8-10 minutes, until the water starts to bubble (do not allow to boil). Remove the konbu and discard.



Adult: Add the bonito to the saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Kid: Use the strainer to remove and discard the bonito.



Kid: Above the broth, place the miso in the ladle, add a bit of broth, and stir with chopsticks (or a spoon) until the miso becomes smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir. Then taste the soup, and add a splash of soy sauce if you would like the soup a bit richer.

Adult: Over high heat, add the tofu and heat until amost boiling (do not allow to boil), then turn off the heat.

Kid: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with scallions.

Tip: Personalize your miso soup by adding your favorite ingredients. Some traditional Japanese "extras" include seaweed, daikon radish, fried bean curd, and egg.

Recipe from www.kidsregen.org/howTo.php?section=recipes&ID=60

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