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Miso soup that tastes good

I always wondered why the miso soup in restaurants tasted so good and mine was just barely edible. One day I observed that the miso soup at my favorite Japanese restaurant (Aomatsu) was lighter colored than the stuff that I made at home. Next time I shopped for miso I got mild white miso instead of the darker Hacho stuff I had been using. mellow misoHacho Miso

The mellow miso is more expensive, of course. And the darker miso won’t go to waste because I can still use it for stronger tasting sauces .

And now for the simple recipe:

Put 3 quarts of water, 2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce, a handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, 10 oz. tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes, and whatever fresh or dried sea or land vegetables you have on hand into a saucepan and boil until the shiitake mushrooms have softened up. Meanwhile scoop out about 2 Tbsp miso and mix it with some of the hot broth from the soup until it has thinned out to a pourable consistency and has no lumps. Remove the soup from heat and ladle into serving bowls–you should get about five generous servings. Divide the diluted miso evenly among the bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and/or chopped cilantro and/or chopped green onions.

Here is another trick I discovered: Only miso-ify the soup you are going to eat right then and there. If you are going to save it and have some more the next day, put it away without miso. If you let it cool with the miso in it it tastes really nasty the next day. This recipe is an adaptation of the miso soup recipe in Christina Pirello’s cookbook.

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