kombu vs. wakame in miso soup
I'm going to make miso soup for the first time and all the different threads just confused the heck out of me. What kind of miso ( bought red), what kind of tofu (i bought medium firm) etc. My question is: can the kombu be shredded and served in the soup, or do i need to add wakame instead?
Kombu is used mainly like bay leaf - it's part of making the dashi, but it isn't normally served as part of the soup.
To make dashi, you need to bring a whole lot of dried fish (either katsuobushi, or niboshi, or something equivalent) and kombu, plus some mirin, to a boil and turn down and let sit for an hour or longer. Then strain everything out, so you have a nice, clear amber liquid.
Add your wakame and miso to this to make miso shiru. You can also add tofu, fishcakes, scallions - whatever you wish. But the thick kombu is not normally part of the final soup.
I exclusively use white miso now, but have tried most all types. Don't normally use tofu, but firm sounds right, I do always have sliced scallions. Kombu is for the dashi, don't use wakame either but the above post are surely correct. I'll suggest adding mushrooms to miso, shitake chaterelles or matsutake, boy they're good this way!
You can use either. Konbu is mostly used as a soup base for Japanese cooking. Japanese usually put wakame. Chinese use Konbu.
A quicker (and vegetarian) miso soup can be made simply by boiling some sliced onions, then adding wakame, boiling a minute or two, then adding the miso (after pureeing it in some of the broth). Small cubes of tofu and scallions are good additions, and you can add a couple of shitake mushrooms in the initial phase to make a more robust soup. I also like to garnish mine with grated ginger on occasion.