Monday, February 23, 2015

Spicy Iriko Miso Soup with Tofu and Tomato

     Noodle House Style Healthy Miso Soup!
     The dashi broth for today's miso soup is made with Iriko (sun dried anchovy).  An Iriko dashi takes ten minutes of cooking time, while a traditional shaved bonito flake dashi only takes five minutes to make.  Sun dried anchovies take a little bit longer to reconstitute and release their flavor into the broth.
     For today's recipe, the dashi broth is not strained.  Both the Wakame Seaweed and the sun dried anchovies are served with the soup.  Instead of using slightly sweet Kombu Seaweed, I chose to use Wakame Seaweed, because of its savory flavor.  Wakame is as tender as lettuce and it is quite palatable.
     I prefer to use Salt Packed Dried Wakame, because it reconstitutes quickly.  Salt Packed Dried Wakame is soft and it is not crisp or crunchy.  When Wakame is dried with salt, it is like the semi dry seaweed that can be seen at the surf's edge.  Salt Packed Wakame basically is still alive!

     *This recipe yields about 2 1/4 cups.
     Iriko & Wakame Dashi:
     Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of rinsed salt packed wakame seaweed that is coarsely chopped.  (A little salt packed wakame goes a long way!  This style of wakame will become large after it reconstitutes.)
     Add 3 tablespoons of small sun dried anchovies.  (The anchovies should be about 1" long.)
     Boil the iriko dashi broth for ten minutes.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.  (There should be about 2 1/4 cups of broth left in the pot after evaporation.  Add a splash of water if there is less.)
     *Do not pour the dashi broth through a strainer for today's soup recipe!  Both the wakame and iriko will be served with the soup. 
     Spicy Iriko Miso Soup with Tofu and Tomato:
     Sliced green jalapeño pepper gives this soup a mild spicy flavor.  
     Step 1:  Keep the Iriko & Wakame Dashi simmering over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add 3 drops of pure sesame oil.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh tomato.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced green jalapeño.
     Simmer till the tomato and pepper starts to become tender.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of miso paste.  (Any color miso paste that is preferred is good!  I used a light red miso paste for the soup in the photos.)
     Stir till the miso paste is blended with the dashi broth.
     Step 3:  Add 6 bite size cube shaped pieces of firm tofu.
     Simmer for 30 seconds to heat the tofu.
     Step 4:  Pour the miso soup into a soup bowl.
     Float 3 thin slices of jalapeño pepper on the soup.
     Sprinkle a few very thin slices of green onion on the soup.
     Iriko tastes nice with tomato.  Sun dried anchovies are not salty or fishy tasting, like canned European anchovies can be.  Sun dried anchovy imparts a mellow umami flavor.

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