Steaming-Hot Miso Soup

Who doesn’t love a steaming-hot miso soup?  And if that’s just your reason to dine in a Japanese restaurant (me: miso soup, teriyaki beef, california rolls and fried rice…that’s all for me!), then it’s time to make this “bit salty, bit fishy” soup at home.   Turning Japanese-ah in this post and you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a good miso soup.

This ain’t your authentic Japanese Restaurant-served miso soup.  Dashi or fish-based stock (dried fish flakes added to boiling water and then strained) is absent in this recipe but still this soup is delicious with patis or fish sauce added to the stock instead.  If you’re feeling fancy, add some cooked clams in shells and garnish with parsley or cilantro.  Only one thing to remember about cooking with miso — “Don’t overcook miso,

STEAMING-HOT MISO SOUP

4 cups water
2 chicken stock cubes
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce or patis
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 sheet roasted Nori, cut into strips
4 tablespoons mild miso (soybean paste, Miko brand I use)
1/2 cup diced firm tofu (would normally leave this out, only if available)
2 to 3 blanced baby bokchoy, roughly chopped

In a medium or large saucepan, boil water with chicken cubes, fish sauce and red pepper flakes.    Measure miso in a liquid measuring cup and add about 1/4 cup of hot stock, whisking well to dissolve and soften miso.  Lower heat to simmer and add nori strips and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in softened miso and turn off heat.  To serve, divide blanced baby bokchoy and diced tofu in serving bowls.  Pour steaming hot miso soup over and enjoy!

Optional ingredients:
canned button or straw mushrooms, drained
eggs, hard-boiled, poached or scrambled and cut into strips
cooked rice noodles
corn
cooked fish fillets
cooked pork slices
canned bamboo shoots
canned asparagus

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