Miso soup with noodles and vegetables9:33 PM
Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali with your near and dear ones. Mine wasn’t bad either. Though away from home and all the lights and sounds that make Diwali so special but still managed to celebrate it in a cosy way. Cooked some festive food, decorated the apartment with fall leaves and flowers, lit some candles and enjoyed shopping with my lil one. He has been my constant companion on this trip. The whole day we roam and explore various parts of the city, play in the parks, do picnic on the bank of a nearby river, watch movies, shop for our daily needs and pass time in various supermarkets and malls that dot this locality. Though its not rosy all the time. Sometimes he is angry for not buying him what he wants and sometimes am upset when he nags too much. But all in all its fun being with him. More so because now he has his own perspective to everything.
Everyday after we come home in the evening all he wants is a big bowl of soup or some fried chicken. And I love to oblige. Making soup here is the easiest job as freshly made noodles and miso pastes are available abundantly. All you need is to make a stock add veggies and noodles, season and serve. Though am not an expert but as much as I have observed, Japanese lead a very healthy lifestyle. They walk a lot and eat food that are fresh and least processed. their serving portions are smaller compared to other countries and eat a lot of fresh fruits to satiate the sweet tooth. Their daily staples like the buckwheat noodles called Soba or fermented beans and barley paste Miso is very good for health. Even when they deep fry their tempuras they use the freshest of ingredients and fry them very briefly to set the coating and colour it golden. Am yet to learn more about this cuisine but here is my recipe of Miso soup with noodles and veggies.
One thing that I must add here is the first day when I went to the supermarket and laid my hand on the tub of miso paste it reminded me of Miri of Peppermill blog. I was introduced to this special condiment through her miso soup recipe. Miss her so dearly.
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning which is made by fermenting rice, soy and barley. The resulting paste contains high level of protein, vitamin and mineral. This is widely used in japan as a soup base, spread, pickling agent and marinade. The taste is quite salty and has a distinct aroma. There are many varieties available and its wise for a beginner to start with the white or the shiro miso. It is said that the darker the colour of the miso (which denotes the longer period of fermentation) higher the intensity of flavour and taste. Find more about it on Wiki.
Miso paste: 3 tbsp
Stock cube: 2 pieces
Soba noodles: 11/2 cup (loosely packed); I used fresh soba noddles. If you don’t get that use dry noodles and cook it as per the package instruction.
Carrot: cut in slices or small cubes: ¼ cup
Mushroom: 1/3 cups; use any variety, I used button and enoki
Greens: 1/3 cup; cut in chunks; I used bok choy and Mizuna. You can also use spinach.
Bean sprouts: handful
Tofu: 1/3 cup; use firm tofu and cut in small cubes.
Pepper powder: ½ tsp
Soy sauce: 2 tsp
Lemon juice: 2 tsp
Hard boiled eggs: 2; optional
Take 4 cups of water in a heavy bottom pan. Add the stock cubes and heat on medium. Add the chunks of carrots, beans, tofu and cook it for 2 minutes. Let the stock come to a boil.
In the mean time prepare the mushroom. Cut the base of the enoki mushroom and wash it under running water. Shake to drain the water. Wash and halve or quarter the button mushrooms.
Once the stock starts to boil add the soba, soy sauce, pepper powder and the button mushrooms. Cook for a minute. Take out a cupful of this boiling stock and mix the miso paste till smooth.
Add the enoki, greens and bean sprouts. Take off from heat. Mix in the miso mixture and the lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot with slices of hard boiled eggs.
I love this with a spoonful of chili sauce.
A Homemaker’s notes:
You can also use strips of chicken while making the stock.
Japanese generally add bonita or dried fish flakes to this, am yet to try that.
Use any vegetable, fish or meat. This is very versatile, delicious and quick.
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