Recipe for Health - Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms
This version of the miso recipe includes shiitake mushrooms, which help improve immune function and lower cholesterol levels. Once you have all the ingredients at hand it is really easy to make and it is worth making it yourself not only for the health benefits but also it taste better than the restaurant version and much healthier than the powdered version. You can find all the ingredients at health food stores, or Asian markets.
Key to great tasting miso soup: When you add miso into dashi, put miso in a ladle and stir it with some dashi at first. If you skip this process, the miso won't dissolve well. Add miso little by little. Don't add any salt since miso and soy sauce is salty, especially if you want a low-sodium soup. Never boil the soup after putting miso into the dashi. It spoils the flavor of the miso.
2 Tbsp dried wakame*
3 c water
1 packet (0.75 oz) dashi stock base (such as DashiMoto)*
2 Tbsp white miso*
1 12 oz package silken-firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 c (about 3 oz) thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1/4 c thinly sliced scallions, grated ginger, or thinly cut Japanese basil (optional)
1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1. Soak wakame in warm water for 15 minutes or until fully rehydrated; drain.
2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add dashi packet; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove packet.
3. Ladle a half cup of dashi into a small bowl; whisk in miso and set aside.
4. Stir tofu and mushrooms into pot; simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in miso mixture, top with scallions and soy sauce, and serve immediately. Make sure to serve miso soup hot.
Wakame: A seaweed packed with the antioxidant compound fucoxanthin.
Dashi: It's pretty much the chicken bouillon of Japan. Made from dried fish flakes and seaweed, dashi is what gives miso soup its signature subtle fish flavor and light amber color. There are actually several types of dashi other than the fish based one, for example: Konbu Dashi - Konbu is dried kelp which is a vegetarian stock or Shiitake Dashi(made by soaking dried shiitake mushrooms in water)which is also vegetarianDashi comes in three forms, all of which can be used to whip up instant miso: powdered, liquid concentrate, and stuffed in a handy packet like the one used in the recipe above.
Miso: If the package is not opened, miso can be preserved at room temperature. Once you use miso, keep it in a refrigerator and seal the package with plastic wrap. Finish miso as soon as possible.
Usually miso and tofu are not the first things that come to mind when it comes to legume kinds, that is why I thought this recipe is a good candidate as a submission for My Legume Love Affair - which is back at home this month at, The Well-Seasoned Cook.