Jan. 27, 2010 Whip It Up Wednesday

Whip It Up Wednesday: Japanese Miso Soup

I am sure many of you have had Japanese food. We had our very first date at our now favorite Sushi restaurant, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant. Almost thirteen years later, we are still having date nights at Kabuki's. We almost always have a cup of miso soup before we enjoy our sashimi and rolls. Typically, when you eat at a Japanese restaurant, it can be a little expensive. But, when you make it at home, it can be surprisingly inexpensive. David found a great place to purchase the much needed Japanese supplies located in San Francisco, the Asian Food Grocer. Their prices are reasonable, fast delivery, and fresh products.
Dashi (kelp and fish broth) 
2 (4-inch) square pieces kombu 
2 1/2 quarts water 
1/2-ounce bonito flakes, about 2 cups 
Put the kombu in a 4-quart saucepan, cover with the water and soak for 30 minutes. 
Set the saucepan over medium heat until the water reaches 150 to 160 degrees F and small bubbles appear around the sides of the pan, 9 to 10 minutes. 
Remove the kombu from the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the bonito flakes. Simmer gently, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. 
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with muslin or several layers of cheesecloth. 
Miso Soup 
12-ounce block firm tofu 
2 quarts dashi (as prepared above) 
6 tablespoons dark or red miso 
2 tablespoons light or white miso 
4 scallions, thinly sliced 
Cut the tofu into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes. 
Heat the dashi in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the dashi reaches 100 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, ladle 1 cup into a small bowl. Add the miso, and whisk until smooth. 
Bring the remaining dashi to a bare simmer, approximately 10 minutes. Add the miso mixture and whisk to combine. Return to a slight simmer, being careful not to boil the mixture. Add the tofu and scallions and cook for another minute or until heated through. Remove from the heat, ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately. 
楽しむ (Enjoy in Japanese)
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