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Feb 1, 2012 03:33 AM

JAPANESE MONTH: A SIMPLE ART: Basic Stock, Making Soups, Soups

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters about basic stocks, making soups and soups.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Leek Miso (negi miso) p. 103

    Wow. In the introduction to the recipe, Andoh mentions that this miso is addictive, and she is right! It was fantastic, and so simple.
    A Japanese leek (I used a small section of a regular leek) is minced and sauteed in a pan with a touch of sesame oil. Mirin, sugar, and a good portion of miso are added in. The recipe calls for mugi miso, which I have had difficulty finding, so I used red miso instead. A few tablespoons of dashi are added, and the mix is cooked down to a tomato paste-like consistency.
    The miso keeps for up to 6 weeks, but it will be gone long before that! It was smoky from the dashi, with flecks of texture from the leek, sweet from the sugar and mirin, and slightly nutty. Umami in a nutshell.
    I probably got my recommended sodium intake for the week from all of the miso I consumed, but it was worth it. And as Ms. Andoh notes, it makes an excellent spread for celery! As I was preparing the rest of dinner, I kept munching on miso-glazed celery sticks. No wonder I was the only one not hungry at the dinner table.

    1. Clam Consomme (Hamaguri Ushio-jura) pg. 155

      This is a very delicate clam consomme. In truth we found it just a little bit too light for our taste, but it went awfully well as a counter point to sake simmered flounder.

      It is easy enough, well washed clams (cockles) are put in a pot with kombu and some water, brought to the boil, kombu removed, clams removed as the open, strain the broth, then bring the broth gently back up to heat adding some salt. place the clams with some yuzu (lemon) peel in a bowl and pour the broth over the clams to serve. The original recipe calls for udo, which I have no idea where to find, but one of the subs for udo is fennel, I didn't have that either, although I think it would be very nice in this soup, so I just added two fennel seeds to the broth, and strained them out before serving.

      1. Primary Dashi (Ichiban Dashi) pg. 148

        Most of this month I've been using Andoh's lighter version of dashi, but last night I decided to to return to Tsuji's somewhat richer/stronger version, and was glad I did. He uses a higher proportion of bonito flakes and cooks them just a few seconds which gives the broth a bit more punch.

        So, for a half batch, 2cups water in the pan, add 15g Kombu, bring slowly to the boil, remove the kombu, bring water to a full boil, add a little water, add the 15g bonito flakes, bring to a boil remove from the heat, let rest about a minute, strain through a cheesecloth lined sieve. Start to finish it takes maybe 10 minutes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: qianning

          Primary Dashi (Ichiban Dashi) pg. 148

          My turn to try this version. My one adaptation was to let the kombu sit in water for 15 minutes before continuing with the recipe as described by quanning. The extra flavor was appreciated when making the dipping sauce for last night's tempura. In the future, if I want a quick evening bowl of miso soup, I would use Andoh's lighter version just due to cost. For heartier uses, this version has far more flavor.

        2. Ichiban and Niban Dashi p. 146-149 I finally overcame my severe insecurities and made not just one but two (primary=ichiban and secondary=niban) dashi! Yah-Yah-Yah:)

          Both are resting in the fridge; waiting for me to make more dishes in addition to "spicy" eggplant dish that I made with Niban Dashi - not sure if I like it but will reserve the verdict until tomorow's taste:)

          The making of dashi was pretty logical once I started and I will make it again and again as long as Japanese cooking interests me. The flavour is so very different compared to americanized taste of Japanese food that I had in Canada and USA and cooking techniques are very different too.

          6 Replies
          1. re: herby


            Did you find it difficult?

            1. re: qianning

              Thank you, Qianning! No, of course it is not difficult:) It is just the first time looking at the giant kelp and fish shavings and reading through the 30 second instructions is pretty intimidating. I have lots of dirty dishes in the kitchen but it is a weekend and I have two days to clean it up.

              1. re: herby

                All the "strange" ingredients and multi-steps do seem pretty off putting at first, but after a few tries it really does get to be quick.

                In some ways I've come to like the staging aspect of Japanese food, it takes a little fore thought (and reading all the way through the recipe, the hard part for me!), but breaking a recipe down into separate parts sometimes adds flexibility that can be worked around my schedule.

            2. re: herby

              Brava Herby...! ! Remember, the dashi you don't use up in about 2 days can be stored in the freezer for 3 months.

                1. re: herby

                  I finally joined the dashi club as well making ichiban and niban diashi. I made this with the help of my 5 year old and it was a fun little process. My 5 year old is a very picky eater, but loves the ocean and sealife, and he was fascinated by the smells and textures and changes of the ingrediants through the cooking process. He even ate some of the bonito and Kombu as we were cookng.

                  I made a full recipe and used the ichiban dashi for tempura dipping sauce and miso soup with(out) Enoki mushrooms from Washoku. I found the dashi very full flavored and may add 5 c of water next time I make it. My year old reported it "good and ocean-y." Very fun.

                2. At the big Asian market here I looked for the 'konbu' seaweed to make dashi. But all of their extensive seaweed collection was labeled 'wakame'. Not a single package of 'konbu' in sight.

                  I went ahead and bought a small package of cut wakame (it looks like little chips) since it was cheap. Standing there in the aisle, I thought this size might work both for the dashi, and for the little bits of seaweed in the soup.

                  Was my line of thinking correct, or do I really need to hunt down some konbu?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: RelishPDX

                    No, kombu is quite different, and I can't imagine you can make dashi from wakame.

                    I've seen kombu sometimes labelled sea tangle in Korean shops. It's a thick and rigid form of seaweed, and may be either in bunched together sheets or rolls, or cut into squares. It's not a million miles in appearance from rubber matting, though much more rigid.

                    1. re: tavegyl

                      Okay then, thank you! I'll keep looking, there's still one grocery I've not checked out yet—the 'Oriental Food Value Supermarket' that supposedly has both Russian and Polish aisles. That should be an interesting trip! (You know what they say, "Keep Portland Weird") :)

                    2. re: RelishPDX

                      At my stores, the wakame is not kept near the kombu at all. Instead it is kept in the "soup" base area. Look for the dried anchovies and other fish. The bonita flakes though are kept in the actual soup aisle, near the instant soup bases.

                      1. re: smtucker

                        The place I go to has a very weird layout. They have sections for everything, but then there's a whole other aisle by cuisine. So yeah, teriyaki sauce and soy sauce and fish sauce are all together on one aisle, but if you want to see all of the Japanese soy sauces, you have to meander over to the Japanese section of the specialty aisle. Slowly but surely I'm figuring out how the store is laid out, and there's a really nice manager there who doesn't mind helping me find things when she has a moment.

                        But all of the seaweed in sheets or shreds of some sort was labeled wakame, Bin after bin of it.

                        I think another problem is that their volume is so high, it's hard to keep the floor stocked, especially close to the weekend. Two of the three bins for bonito flakes were barren yesterday alone. I had to buy the packages with five 3g packets in each. So I'll give this other place a try. Who knows, perhaps they'll have a special on borscht.

                        1. re: RelishPDX

                          You might want to check the Korean section (for the kombu, not the borscht!)

                          1. re: qianning

                            LOL, I will do that! I also see another problem I was having, spelling it konbu instead of kombu, I missed this other recent thread:


                            We'll see what I can come up with tomorrow. It might even be worthwhile to head over to the other side of town to Uwajimaya, the big Japanese store here. (Though I doubt they'll have borscht, dangit.)