Miso Soup

I love going to sushi restaurants for the sushi of course, but also for the soup and salad. To spare Nick's wallet, last night we made miso soup and ginger salad. It's a light dinner perfect for a weeknight.

Ingredients (for the miso soup):

1 bunch scallions/green onions, chopped with green and white parts separated
1" piece of ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
4 pieces kombu
2 tbsp. sesame oil
8 c. water
8 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced or 3 oz dried (we used fresh this time)
1/2 c. miso paste
14 oz. firm tofu
touch of chile oil

Saute the scallions (white parts), ginger, and garlic cloves with the sesame oil in the bottom of a sauce pan until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the water and kombu and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the kombu (it's pretty tough and just to add flavor) then add the mushrooms and miso and continue to heat for another 10 minutes. Don't forget to give it a stir after adding the miso to help dissolve it. It will land at the bottom of the pot and sit there otherwise. Add the tofu at the last minute and heat until just heated through, about 5 minutes, and stir in a touch of chile oil for a hint of heat. Garnish with some of the green scallions and serve. This recipe makes 4-6 servings.

I like to serve this soup with a salad of crisp, cool vegetables tossed with a ginger dressing.

Ingredients (for the dressing):

1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c oil
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp ginger root, grated
2 tbsp celery, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp. tomato paste
3 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. And yes, even though it's going in the food processor, I still like to grate the ginger just to make sure it gets mixed up and there aren't any chunks left in the dressing. It won't be as smooth as a vinaigrette, so a little bit chunky is okay and to be expected. I love to use really crunchy ingredients in this salad, like romaine lettuce and cucumbers. I think the cool, crispness of the veggies compliments the warm spice of the dressing.

What are your favorite homemade "take-out" meals?

2 lovely comments:

  1. If you had any idea how long I've been looking for miso around her, well you'd be shocked :) The soup looks amazing, I LOVE MISO SOUP!! The ginger dressing looks delicious too. Defiantly bookmarking this page - when I find my precious miso I'll be making this soup ASAP :)

  2. We had to drive about an hour to find miso here, so I feel your pain! Hopefully you find some soon. Do you have any asian markets near you?