This recipe is the ultimate comfort food, providing a fun, flavorful way to incorporate pork, noodles and vegetables into a single dish. Easy to make, this udon soup is perfect for serving friends and family — especially as the weather starts to turn cold.
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“Comfort food for the soul, this soup, fragrant with ginger and miso and loaded with noodles and greens, is a great warm-up on a cold day. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, the soup is a snap to make; and with the rice cooker, there is only one pot to wash—a bonus in my book!” — Diane Phillips, author of The Everyday Rice Cooker: Soups, Sides, Grains, Mains, and More
When it comes to creating a rich and balanced soup, the trick to keep in mind is always make sure you're developing layers of flavor. This starts with the broth and should be carried through to the garnishes. This miso soup begins with a simple kombu-based dashi (Japanese broth), then various flavors are added (soy sauce, ginger, Sriracha sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sake), followed by white miso, the main ingredients (tofu, shiitake mushrooms, kale, and sautéed scallions), and finally topped with a sprinkle of diced fresh scallions.
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Although we generally think of them as a favorite Japanese food, adzuki beans are believed to have been domesticated in the Himalayas several thousand years ago. By 1,000 B.C. they appeared in China, then later in Japan, where today they are second only to soybeans.
They are small and cook quickly, and the tannins in their skins give the soup added color and flavor. This light miso soup is perfect for those occasions when you want to take the edge off your appetite without stuffing yourself to the gills, or when you want a lot of broth with just a little bit of substance to it.
You could also add some small cubes of tofu for extra protein.
For 92 years (and counting!), my baachan (Japanese grandmother) has been making this soup. She raised four beautiful daughters through World War II — so she knows a little something about comfort food. My big sis and I sought out baachan's recipe, which is nothing like your watered-down sushi bar miso. This is hearty, comforting, and as authentic as Japanese food gets.
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Our favorite sushi place serves this, and it took me a while to learn to make it at home. It's wonderful! You can add all sorts of things to this, and take away the tofu and bean curd, if you'd like (but it's sooo good!)
Miso soup is the main item in a Japanese breakfast and is usually eaten with rice, eggs, fish, and pickles. The soup is also served for lunch or dinner with more complex garnishes. Dashi is a basic stock, made with dried bonito flakes, that is used extensively in Japanese cooking. Its clarity and flavor can make or break a dish.
This is a basic miso soup recipe from my Grandfather. Many different leftover items can be added; tofu, eggs, vegetables, cooked chicken or pork, somen/soba, or rice. The recipe calls for Ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate), I usually leave it out. I remember my Grandfather only using a dash of MSG, if you'd like to add it.