Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Shrimp and Chinese Garlic Chive Miso Soup

     Tasty Miso Soup!
     The presentation for today's miso soup recipe is really not too farfetched.  The Garlic Chive garnish is very simple to do and the visual effect is interesting.  Not only is the Garlic Chive garnish part of the design, it is integral to this Shrimp Miso Soup.  
     The fresh Chinese Garlic Chives are meant to be stirred into the hot miso soup by guests at the table.  The garlic chives will wilt in the hot soup and the result is a fresh crisp garlic chive flavor.  Chinese garlic chives are garlic plant shoots and they are not in the chive or onion family of plants.  
     I have used Wakame Seaweed to make Dashi Broth in the past, because the savory Wakame flavor is quite nice.  For today's miso soup recipe, Kombu Seaweed was used to make the Dashi.  Kombu Seaweed has a high amount of natural stickiness and it has a nice delicate sweet flavor.  Kombu has a high proportion of natural Monosodium Glutamate, which helps the flavors of the soup to transcend on the palate.  
     Iriko (sun dried anchovy) was used in place of Katsuobushi (Shaved Bonito Flakes), so the Dashi was cooked for ten minutes instead of five.  Red Miso Paste adds a deep fermented soy bean flavor.  

     Iriko Kombu Dashi: 
     This recipe yields 2 cups of dashi.
     Step 1:  Soak a piece of dried Kombu Seaweed in cold water for 10 minutes, so it becomes soft. (Select a pice of Kombu that will be enough for 1/4 cup after it is chopped.)     
     Coarse chop the Kombu and set it aside.  
     Step 2:  Place 3 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.  
     Add 1/4 cup of tiny sun dried anchovies.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped reconstituted Kombu Seaweed. 
     Boil the Dashi Broth for 10 minutes.  Allow the volume of broth to reduce to about 2 cups.  
     Step 3:  Pour the Dashi Broth through a fine mesh strainer into a second sauce pot.
     Set the Dashi pot aside.  
     Discard the anchovies and seaweed (or use them in another recipe).
     Shrimp and Chinese Garlic Chive Miso Soup:
     This recipe yields 2 1/4 cups.  (1 portion)
     Step 1:  Wash 1 small bunch of Chinese Green Garlic Chives with cold running water.
     Trim off the root ends.
     Trim off the pointed tops. 
     Cut the Chinese Garlic Chives into 5" lengths.
     Set the prepared Chinese Garlic Chives aside.
     Step 2:  Place the pot of Dashi Broth over medium low heat.
     Bring the broth to a gentle simmer. 
     Add 4 drops of thin soy sauce.
     Add 3 drops of pure sesame oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 small pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 6 peeled and deveined medium size shrimp.  (Remove the tails from the shrimp.)
     Simmer till the shrimp are fully cooked.  (About 3 or 4 minutes.)
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of red miso paste.
     Gently whisk the miso paste into the dashi broth.
     Simmer the soup for 1 minute.
     Step 4:  Gently whisk the broth again, so the miso paste combines.
     Ladle the miso soup into a shallow wide rim soup bowl.  Try to place the shrimp in the center of the bowl.
     Step 5:  Evenly space the prepared Chinese Garlic Chives around the rim of the bowl, so they point outward from center and they rest on the rim.  (This must be done quickly, so the miso soup is still hot when served!) 
     Step 6:  Float 3 very thin slices of red jalapeƱo pepper on the miso soup.

     Shrimp and Chinese Garlic Chive Miso Soup tastes as good as it looks! 

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