Making a Miso Soup Grocery List
I don't live near any Asian markets and with the price of gas being what it is, I am putting together a shopping list for an online order. Here is what I have so far;
- Dried Shitake Mushrooms...are there any other kind of mushrooms I should consider?
- Kombu... are there other types of seaweed that would be good?
- Bonito Flakes
- Noodles... I would like to add noodles but have no idea what kinds would be good.
Some ingredients I can get locally - tofu, scallions and I already have a sack of white miso, red miso paste, but my goal is to get a good stock of ingredients for making miso soup without having to place a subsequent order for this kind of stuff for some time or realize that I left out an essential ingredient.
You don't need dashi if you have or will buy bonito flakes and kombu - those two items plus water are the ingredients for dashi.
Buy some wakame; soak it in water then add to your soup as a garnish.
take a piece of konbu, put it in a pot w/ cold water. slowly heat the water, take the konbu out just before it boils - this should take at least 10 minutes. pull out the konbu. bring the water to a boil, add bonito flakes. turn off the flame. after a minute or 2 the flakes will saturate and sink. strain the solids out and keep the liquid. that is dashi.
take a little of the hot dashi in a small bowl. wisk it with the miso til it is all smooth. add it back to the pot, and never boil the miso/dashi mix. voila miso soup.
soba and udon are both nice in this, but i tend to use dashi mixed with soy, mirin,sake to eat my noodles with
I second janniecooks. You don't need bonito flakes. UNLESS you also like some shaved on for an extra-fishy garnish.
IMHO, miso soup is pretty simple, and it's best when it's simple. But if you are adventurous and don't want the same old same old every time, then try some of these additions:
- natto (this is fermented soybeans -- slimy on their own, but delicious and nutty when added to miso soup)
- sichimi (seven spice powder) - real japanese people probably don't use this in miso soup (usually, just noodle soups) but i do =) it spices things up. literally.
- wild mushroom mix - this makes things really savory and yummy...