My mom was around last week so we were immersed in a tour de force of hamburgers, corn dogs, onion rings, chips, restaurants and all things very American. Result every time I cooked I cooked some really simple pasta dish and as soon as she left we decided to eat light and health things for at least a couple of days. We also decided to start out the light and healthy session with a warm simple soup. For some reason, lately I like Japanese style soups a lot. I found them comforting, very filling (I probably drink about a gallon of the broth every time) and the flavors are great: sweet and salty. So now I have been working on figuring out the broth and toppings.
Of course I am Italian and am not very familiar with Asian ingredients, so I never have anything more exotic than soy sauce at home. I am always worried I won’t know what to do with those and they will end up rotting in the fridge or on the shelf. Lately, however, I decided to try and get some dashi packet to experiment with Japanese soup and using Nami’s posts on noodles and the web to figure out substitutes, I set out to prepare my own version of a Japanese soup.
In reading the recipe, please consider I make no claim of authenticity and I am working with whatever I have in the house. As you probably have noticed I am a master of the open the fridge and cook whatever you find game…
- 1 dashi packet + 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 dash tabasco
- 3 tbspmiso paste
- 1/4 cup marsala
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ginger powder or freshly grated ginger (I never have the fresh ginger around...)
- Japanese noodles
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 turnip
- 2 sheets roasted seaweed
- 1 cup cooked greens
- I started out by preaparing the broth. To make the broth I simply warmed up 4 cups of water and added in a packet of dashi when it started boiling. After about 10 minutes of simmering, I removed the dashi packet and added a dash of soy sauce, a dash of Tabasco (no bean curd in my pantry), 1/4 cup of Marsala (to substitue Mirin), 1 spoon of sugar, 3 spoons of miso paste and a bit of ginger. I mixed everything and kept the broth on low heat to keep it warm but not boiling.
- For the toppings, I thinly sliced and quickly blanched (about 1 minute in boiling water) a sweet potato, I cut into tiny sticks a turnip and into strips 2 sheets of roasted seaweeds and I warmed up some greens I had cooked a couple of days before and that were resting in my fridge.
- I cooked some Japanese noodle in boiling water until they were tender and drained them well and then assembled the dish by placing the noodle in the dish, cover with broth and arranging toppings on top.
- The final result was not perfect but it was still pretty good. The topping were a bit weak, I will have to try my luck with other ingredients, but the broth is starting to taste close to what you get in Japanese restaurant.... I will keep trying and reporting!
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