When I’m tired, or busy writing and don’t want to take too long away from the flow of words, I turn to miso soup. I can eat this stuff breakfast, lunch, dinner and all meals in between!
My soup is never a hard and fast recipe – rather it’s a technique that lets you add whatever you fancy to a simple base, and… voila! You can whip up a tasty, easy meal in mere minutes.
This is also a recipe that adapts well to vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.
The picture above contains prawns, mushrooms and bok choi, because that’s what I had to hand. I’ll list my staples below and then give you the recipe for the soup in the picture.
Basic Ingredients: Rice, udon or other fresh or dried noodles. (I like rice noodles for the gluten-freeness of them all!), water, miso paste – there are many types of miso, white is good if you are a miso novice, but choose the one you like the most, fresh ginger – finely chopped or grated, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos, kombu or other dried seaweed (optional).
To fancy it up use any of the following: chilli flakes, dashi or bonito flakes, sesame oil, fresh herbs such as chives, shallots (green onions) coriander, fried shallot, Japanese rice seasoning, toasted sesame seeds
Protein Ideas: tofu; green prawns (shrimp!); raw scallops; chunks of fresh raw salmon, tuna or white fish; raw oysters; steamed chicken (or you can poach it in the soup mixture)
Vegetable Suggestions: finely cut carrot battons or slices, asparagus, snow peas, bean sprouts, bok choi, pak choi, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, firm lettuce like iceberg or cos, or whatever is in the fridge or garden, cut finely so it will cook quickly
To make your soup, follow the directions below, no matter what your choice of ingredients.
This one (below) has noodles, mushrooms, broad beans and left-over drunken chicken at the base (under all the noodles!). I also made a vegan one that night, replacing the chicken with baked pumpkin pieces.
Easy Prawn Noodle Miso Soup: (this serves four people as a starter or two hungry people as a main) Get your ingredients ready. Clean and de-vein your prawns. Have enough for about 1/2 a cup per person as a starter or 3/4 to one cup as a main. With big prawns this may be just two or three for a starter. Finely grate about a tablespoon of raw ginger. Allow about a cup of vegetables and enough noodles for half a serving bowl per person. I used swiss brown mushrooms and bok choi, sliced, and also a few shallots (green onions) from my garden. Keep your vegetables in little seperate piles if the cooking time will vary.
If you are using another protein source have it chopped into small cubes or chunks. Keep all raw animal based-ingredients on their own chopping board, and wash knife and board well before cutting vegetables or tofu.
Cut all vegetables into small pieces, and finely chop any herbs you are going to add.
Prepare your noodles. If they are dried cook in boiling water until done, drain well and add to serving bowls. If they are fresh you can heat them in the miso broth.
Place one litre of water in a large saucepan. Add about 3 tablespoons of miso paste (you can add more later to taste if required). Stir and bring slowly to the boil. Add in the ginger and about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos, and a tablespoon or so of dried seaweed. Dump in fresh noodles if they need to be heated. Give them a minute or two in the broth and then add your prawns or other uncooked animal protein. Wait a minute and add your vegetables and/or tofu. Don’t add the herbs/shallots yet.
Heat until vegetables are wilted. It only takes a minute or so. Remove from heat. Adjust seasoning. Add a splash of sesame oil and some chilli flakes if you like things spicy.
Ladle into bowls and add any herbs to the top. Eat.
This pic is a snack I made recently without noodles – just wakame seaweed, silken tofu and shallots in the standard miso broth. Mmmmm…..
I’m a miso soup junkie!