Saturday, March 14, 2015

Miso Soup with Shrimp, Lotus Root, Tofu and Shiitake





     Miso Soup For Breakfast?  
     Miso soup has such a nice healthy flavor.  Many people in Japan start their day with a bowl of miso soup.  The benefits of having miso soup instead of a "greasy spoon diner" style breakfast are obvious.  Less cholesterol, a lighter feeling in the tummy and higher nutritional value can be found in a hot bowl of miso soup in the morning.
     I made a 5 minute dashi broth with Wakame Seaweed and Shaved Dried Pickled Bonito Flakes for today's soup.  Kombu Seaweed is the most popular seaweed for miso soup, because is has a sweet flavor and it is loaded with natural MSG.  Wakame Seaweed is more savory than Kombu and many people prefer wakame in a dashi broth.  Wakame also is palatable, so it can be served with the soup.  Bonito is in the tuna family of fish.  Dried Pickled Bonito Flakes have a agreeable mild umami flavor.
     I left the shrimp unshelled with the heads on for this soup.  Many people enjoy the tasty orange colored shrimp fat that is located behind the shrimp head.  Lotus Root is one of my favorite vegetables.  Lotus Root is starchy like a potato and it remains crisp even after after boiling for an extended time.

     *This entire recipe yields 1 large bowl of soup!
  
     Wakame Katsuobushi Dashi:
     Boil 3 1/4 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of shaved dried bonito flakes.  (Katsuobushi)
     Add 2 tablespoons of rinsed chopped salt packed wakame seaweed.
     Boil the broth for 5 minutes.
     Pour the broth through a strainer into a second sauce pot.
     Discard the wakame and bonito flakes.
 
     Miso Soup with Shrimp, Lotus Root, Tofu and Shiitake:
     Step 1:  Place the sauce pot with the dashi broth over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 of minced a garlic clove.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 4 thin slices of lotus root to the broth.
     Add 1 thin sliced shiitake mushroom.  (medium size shiitake)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of soy sauce.
     Add 3 drops of sesame oil.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Gently boil the dashi broth till the lotus root just starts to become tender and the shiitake mushrooms are fully cooked.  Allow the broth to reduce to about 2 to 2 1/4 cups.
     Step 2:  Add 2 whole shrimp with the heads attached.
     Simmer till the shrimp become fully cooked.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of red miso paste while stirring.
     Simmer and stir, till the miso combines with the broth.
     Step 4:  Pour the soup into a large bowl.
     Add 3 ounces of cube shaped pieces of soft tofu.
     Add 2 snow peas that are cut into thin slivers.
     Add 3 thin slices of green jalapeño pepper.
     Add 6 cilantro leaves.
     Add sprinkle a few thin bias slices of green onion on the soup.
     Try to place lotus root slice and the shrimp on top of the tofu,so they can be seen.
  
     The shrimp are fun to snack on while sipping on this soup! 

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