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kombu vs. wakame in miso soup

j
jan Aug 27, 2006 08:32 PM

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?

Thanks!

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  1. applehome Aug 27, 2006 08:50 PM

    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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: applehome
      j
      jan Aug 28, 2006 01:56 AM

      Thanks so much, Applehome. Perfect analogy on the bay leaf!

    2. steinpilz Aug 28, 2006 02:05 AM

      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!

      1. designerboy01 Aug 28, 2006 05:41 AM

        You can use either. Konbu is mostly used as a soup base for Japanese cooking. Japanese usually put wakame. Chinese use Konbu.

        1. designerboy01 Aug 28, 2006 05:43 AM

          As far as tofu goes you can use anyone except for water and I don't recommend spiced.

          1. t
            thesupersleuth Aug 28, 2006 06:57 PM

            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.

            1. t
              theSauce Aug 31, 2006 06:48 PM

              don't forget to add some bonito flakes to give it a smokey and fishy (in a good way) taste.

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