Sunday, January 31, 2016

Miso Soup with Chorizo, Mushroom, Lotus Root and Arugula

     Noodle House Miso Soup Special #1!   
     Many restaurants offer a few chef's specialty Miso Soups on the menu along with traditional Japanese recipes.  Asian style buffet restaurants usually offer 10 to 20 garnishes for Miso Soup, so customers can jazz up it up to their own liking.  Street food truck operators and trendy modern noodle house chefs really come up with some crazy Miso Soup ideas.  Miso Soup is a great creative medium, because an endless variety of food items can be added to increase interest.
     I always make Miso Soups the old fashioned way.  I never use Instant Miso Soup products.  Miso Soup is so easy to make, that an instant miso mix really is not necessary.  The difference in time between the two methods only amounts to a few minutes.
     Today's Miso Soup creation would probably do good on a noodle house lunch special du jour board!  Both traditional items and a couple of interesting European ingredients are combined in this recipe.  The Spanish Chorizo adds a zesty paprika spiced pork flavor that goes well with shiitake and enoki mushrooms.  Arugula is a spicy lettuce green that has a black pepper flavor.  Fresh lotus root adds a little bit of crunchy carbohydrate texture to the mix.  This soup is interesting enough to appeal to a wide range of guests!

     *This entire recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups!

     Spanish Chorizo:
     Spanish Chorizo is usually made with an edible casing and it is much less fatty than Mexican style chorizo.
     Place a small chorizo sausage on a roasting pan.
     Roast the sausage in a 325ºF oven till it is fully cooked.
     Allow the sausage to cool.
     Cut 5 thin slices of the chorizo and set them aside.
     *Save the rest of the chorizo for another recipe!
     Iriko Dashi:
     Some of the liquid will evaporate when boiling, so extra water is needed at the start of the recipe.  It take only about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of soup to fill a large soup bowl.
     Boil 3 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of chopped rinsed salt packed dried wakame seaweed.
     Add 1/3 cup of small sun dried anchovies.
     Boil the broth for 10 minutes.
     Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a second sauce pot.
     Discard the fish and seaweed.  (Or turn it into a snack salad recipe!)

     Miso Soup with Chorizo, Mushroom, Lotus Root and Arugula: 
     Step 1:  Place the sauce pot of dashi broth over medium heat.
     Add 1 thin slice of lotus root.
     Add 1 thin sliced fresh shiitake mushroom.
     Gently boil the soup till the lotus root starts to become tender.
     *Check the volume of the broth after boiling.  The volume should be about 2 1/2 cups.  Add a little water if the volume is too low.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic paste.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 2 teaspoons of thin soy sauce.
     Add 2 drops of pure sesame oil.
     Add the reserved 5 thin slices of roasted chorizo sausage.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Simmer for 2 minutes.
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of red miso paste while stirring.
     Stir till the miso paste blends with the broth.
     Step 4:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Pour the soup into a large soup bowl.
     Try to expose the lotus root and a little bit of the other ingredients on the surface of the soup.
     Step 5:  Float a small bunch of trimmed enoki mushrooms on the surface of the soup.
     Float about 12 baby arugula leaves on the surface of the soup.
     Place a few thin bias slices of green onion on the soup.

     This is a nice tasting Miso Soup du jour!

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