I picked up a used copy of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat on a whim. I enjoyed the stories and her descriptions of various foods and cooking guidelines. I didn’t really pick it up for the recipes but this easy soup was worth the $3 I spent for the book! We all love Japanese soup and the instant miso packages are okay but not great. This soup calls for dashi (made from seaweed and bonito flakes) but when I went to our Asian grocer I saw a packet of dashi soup base and used that. Everything is in a bag and you simmer it for 10 minutes in 3 cups of water, then remove the bag. (The bag is like a tea bag.) The soup was fantastic. Her original recipe called for just tofu and shitake mushrooms. I used the regular small mushrooms from our grocery store because I had some and added some daikon (Japanese radish) cut in matchstick pieces because I saw that in another soup and it sounded good to me.
- 3 cups dashi (her recipe called for 4 but my instant stuff made 3)
- 8 ounces tofu
- 4 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup of daikon, peeled and sliced into matchstick pieces
- 1.5 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sake
- 1 green onion, sliced thinly
Rinse the tofu gently and cut into cubes. She called for heating the tofu and cooking the mushrooms in separate pans, then placing the tofu in one half of the bowl and the mushrooms in the other half and covering with the dashi broth. I just heated the tofu and cooked the mushrooms in the broth.
So make the dashi by simmering the tea bag of goodies for ten minutes in 3 cups of water. Take the bag out and add the soy, salt and sake. (Note: we found this a bit salty and I had already cut the salt back so you might even eliminate the salt. I think the fact that this was “packaged” probably meant they added salt), add the tofu and simmer gently for a few minutes, then add the daikon and simmer a few more minutes, and finally add the mushrooms and cook just another 3 minutes or so (so roughly ten minutes for the tofu in total, 5 minutes for the daikon and 3 for the mushrooms).
Oh, I think I had some dried roasted seaweed out because I was making onigiri too and threw in a few flakes of it. That’s the dark green.
She says that cooking the ingredients separately helps keep the broth clear. I might try that next time but it’s not very cloudy and it tasted great this way!
Ladle into 3 or 4 bowls and garnish with the green onion slices.
NOTE: I didn’t really want leftovers so probably used more tofu than needed if this is a side dish. It was fortuitous though. I was winging some steak to go with this, along with some rice and spinach. The steak had been frozen in marinade and was just blah. So we filled up on soup and rice!