Japan – Miso Soup
by Zayna Khan
WHAT IS MISO?
Miso is actually a product formed by a special procedure known as fermentation. The main ingredients for making miso are SOYBEANS, RICE, BARLEY, and KOJI ( Aspergillus fungus ). A thick paste of these ingredients is formed and then let it sit to ferment. Than many other dishes are made in Japan from this unique miso paste and MISO SOUP is one of them.
MISO SOUP is also known as ”Misoshiru”. There are different types of Misu paste made in Japan like :
- RED MISO ( Akamiso) : Red miso, is formed from the main ingredients like soybean but brown rice is also added to make it unique in taste.
- WHITE MISO ( Shiromiso ) : It is different in flavors like very mild and sweeter than the red one.
- YELLOW MISO (Awasemiso ) : It has earthy and strong flavors with the addition of more other ingredients like barley etc. It is also known as mixed miso.
- BARLEY MISO ( MUGI MISO )
FERMENTATION OF MISO
Process of making miso is very old and the traditional one. First step is making KOJI.
koji, is actually a kind of fungus known as aspergillus. This special mold, fungus is extracted from the main weed and cultivated to make a proper growth. Temperature, humidity and atmosphere is provided properly to the mold so it get mixed with the desired flavors like soybean paste, rice and barley. Salt is added to stop the fermentation reaction.
Miso is now ready to get into the dishes. We have main dish related to miso is this special soup made up from two ingredients, DASHI into which MISO paste is added and prepares the stock out of it.
DASHI, is a stock used in Japanese food in making soups, stocks, clear noodles, and things like this. And now you can add more ingredients of your choice like usually TOFU is added nowadays. Some like to add vegetables, negi, shitake, and even seafood is also added.
Other versions are also evolved according the the passage of time, Some used chicken stock instead of dashi stock and miso paste with other more variety is added.
SERVINGS OF THE MISO SOUP
Miso soup is very common in Japan and served with white plain rice in breakfast. The main pot to serve this amazing dish in is known as LACQUER BOWLS. It is a kind of bowl, made up from wood or any meat has wide opening and some traditional design is made over them. Soup is served into that bowl and covered with the lid of it. Beside has rice and serve to the people you love.
DISH TYPE : SOUP
FLAVORS : SALTISH
SERVING TEMPERATURE : HOT
ORIGIN : JAPAN
MAIN INGREDIENTS : MISO PASTE, DASHI STOCK
INGREDIENTS FOR MISO SOUP
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup katsuobushi
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 piece kombu/kelp
- 4 tablespoons miso paste ( white or red optional )
- 1 packet tofu
- 1 cup white rice
- some cilantro
- In the pan, add chicken broth, vegetables broth, and 2 cups of water with kombu and let it boil for 20 minutes.
- After simmering, add katsuobushi with salt, pepper and bring it to boil until all the broth assembles and mixed together.
- Strain the dashi broth and let it set
- Cut the tofu into small pieces and shred the cilantro.
- Now add miso paste of around 4 tablespoons into the broth.
- On the top add tofu and cilantro
- Serve it with white rice.
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