Miso soup recipe
I'd love to be able to make miso soup at home. Does anyone have a tried and true, easy recipe they would be willing to share? I have access to two good local Asian markets where I should be able to purchase any of the necessary ingredients. Also, any tips on how long the soup stores for in the frig or freezer would be most helpful.
The way I was taught to make Miso soup starts with making a Dashi or simple stock.
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups Bonito flakes
6 oz. Kombu (type of seaweed)
1 Tbsp whole bean soy sauce
Rinse kombu under cold water and place in pot with water. Bring to a rapid boil and remove the kombu. Add the bonito flakes and remove the pot from the heat and steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain through cheese cloth and stir in soy sauce.
For the Miso soup I use some firm tofu, shitake mushrooms and some chopped scallions.
I heat whatever amount of dashi I'm going to use without boiling and stir in whichever type of Miso. I use about a tablespoon of Miso paste per 2cups of dashi and then I add the other ingredients, minus the scallions, and steep bringing all to heat. The shitakes I slice very thinly BTW. Ladel into bowls and garnish with scallions.
I do it basically the same way. Miso shouldn't be boiled, as lenox mentioned, so I usually make the stock then simmer the scallions, mushrooms, and whatever else i'm using for a while before turning down the heat and adding the miso paste. In terms of storage, dashi should keep for a few days at least (not that it usually lasts that long around here) bu i would suggest doing the rest right when you want it.
My experience has been the miso soup you get most of the time from a restaurant is made from that "base" (which is made from some of the scratch ingredients in the recipe you posted) and to me it tastes fine and the amount you're served in my opinion is to cleanse your palate.
Chicken soup on the other hand is a different animal (integral to a properly made soup- like matzo ball soup or won ton soup)and I can taste when its made from some mix (chemicals, additives & esscense of chicken) or from scratch ingredients. Sure people will short cut use a base.
I used to deliver to a sushi restaurant when I was a fish monger and this particular restaurant had THE best Miso soup anywhere. I asked the chef why his soup was not thin and lifeless, like the ones I had at other restaurants etc... He said that most people don't understand that the soup must be much more complex, needless to say I stayed there that afternoon while he made dashi, tempurah batter and loined out a beautiful yellowfin tuna I had just dropped off. Ever since then I have made my miso soup in this manner. I couldn't imagine just throwing some paste in hot water.
2 CUPS WATER
3/4 TSP DASHI MIX
1 1/2 TBS AKA MISO PASTE
1 TBS YAKAME
Bring the water to a simmer, add the dashi mix and simmer for a minute or two. Stir in the miso paste until it is all disolved. Add the wakame and let it blossom. All done in about 5 minutes.
Just miso paste and hot water isn't bad if you're in a hurry and want something hot, but I think miso soup made with dashi is a whole lot more flavorful/complex/etc. and only takes about 5 -8 minutes longer. I have a high opinion of South River miso pastes, they're maybe a little more expensive than most others, but i find them to have a deeper, more complex flavor than some other brands i've tried.