When living in Saigon, I was fortunate enough to reside in the Japanese quarter in a residence called Bon Bon. Wandering the streets provided all number of Japanese eateries and the food was delicious, highly nutritious and affordable. My lovely friend Mandy Hall provided some fermenting inspiration this week and so I made a trip to the Asian markets to stock up.
This broth forms the basis for miso soup, to which I add fish balls, tofu and vegetable.
As I develop soup content for us that are affected by head and neck cancer treatment, I am scouring the world for inspiration. Whilst we can’t travel, a trip to my local Asian market provided some much needed respite from the four walls. Miso is rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, E, K and folic acid. A fermented food, miso provides the gut with beneficial bacteria. Miso soup is essentially the miso paste ( it comes in a container of which there are many varieties, I lean towards white) blended in to this hot broth. It’s a real soup hug.
- 2 cups of water
- 2 inch piece of kombu (dried kelp)
- ½ cup loosely packed dried bonito flakes
- Large saucepan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Fine mesh strainer
A simple broth as the basis for my miso soup. This soup is particularly good if you are feeling unwell and want something gentle on your stomach, drink it much like you would a cup of tea or coffee. Traditionally served with steamed rice, so if you can manage rice the two combined make a light easily digestible meal.
There is no end to things you can add to this simple broth. Silken tofu for protein, deep fried shallots and asian greens.
Warm the water with the kombu in it until it just about boils and then remove the kombu. (Don’t boil it as it will make the liquid bitter and slimy.)
Note: if you want a more deeply flavoured dashi, steep the kombu in the water overnight before continuing with the recipe.
Remove the kombu as the water comes to the boil, add the bonito flakes and simmer (rapid) for about a minute. Take the saucepan off the heat and let the bonito steep in the liquid for an additional five minutes.
- Broth can be highly nutritious and ideal when you don’t feel well or don’t feel like eating.
- Dashi Stock is easily made if you have right ingredients in your pantry. Make sure you have the basics on hand, miso paste, seaweed and bonito flakes.
- Think outside the square when creating your weekly meal plan