Monday, December 6, 2010
4 Recipe #209: Miso-Egg Drop Soup
This soup, which is yet another original creation, is the best of both worlds. To be honest, I actually created it by accident, but it was a happy accident. :) You see, I was making egg drop soup the other day, and in the midst of cooking, realized that I didn't have any chicken stock or bouillon on hand, (which is the traditional base for this soup). I only had miso paste. So, I added that instead. Et le voilà. A new creation was born: Miso-egg drop soup. :)
When we stop in at our favorite Chinese restaurant for the lunch special, which includes a choice of either egg drop or miso soup as a starter, I can never make up my mind which soup to order. So this recipe takes care of that decision. Now it's possible to have both... simultaneously. :)
Miso-Egg Drop Soup
1 c. onion (about 1/4 large onion)
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled & finely minced (about 1 1/2" piece)
1/4 c. baby carrots, sliced crosswise into 1/4" thick rounds & then quartered (diced)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/4 c. strips of dried wakame seaweed, pre-shredded, soaked for a few minutes in boiling hot water, & then drained & halved (or quartered) crosswise into 2-3" strips
1 c. silken tofu, diced into 1/2" cubes
1/4 c. scallions (including green stalks), sliced crosswise into 1/4" thick rounds (about 2 large scallions)
Yield: Serves 4-6.
Chef's Notes: If you can't find miso pasto with dashi and without MSG, just combine the no-MSG miso paste with dashi (bonito) soup stock. :) If you use dashi is in its powdered form (i.e., hon-dashi), be sure to boil it together with water first to make an actual liquid soup stock before adding it to the miso paste. :) You'll only need to make a small amount of dashi (i.e., just a few tablespoons), so follow package instructions to ascertain the proper ratio of hon-dashi to water. Use the same method as described above to melt the miso; wait several minutes before pouring dashi over miso.
Important note for vegetarians: Vegetarians, please note that, despite any online articles that you may've read to the contrary, seaweed & dashi actually aren't vegetarian foods. Both contain bits of fish in them. Yep, there's a reason they both have that slight fishy, umami flavor. ;) So, if you didn't realize that before, now you know.
As far as seaweed is concerned, it might appear at first to be a vegetarian product, as it's green & is classified as marine algae. However, it often contains small fish or other sea life that definitely aren't plant-based life forms. And no, sea cucumbers don't count as vegetables either. LOL.
The dashi soup stock found in some miso paste varieties also contains lots of fish-y stuff: kombu (dried kelp), wakame seaweed, niboshi (dried baby sardines), & dried, smoked bonito (skipjack tuna). So unless you're a pescetarian (a fish-eating vegetarian), you'll probably want to avoid eating dashi as well.
A real eye-opener, eh?! You learn something new every day....