Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Edamame
I spent many, many nights of my childhood/youth in chinese restaurants. Actually, in a certain chinese restaurant named Dragão Dourado (Golden Dragon), to be more precise. But these are stories for another post – maybe one about chinese food. Because, to be very honest, man, when I was a kid, I didn’t even knew the difference between japanese, chinese or korean food.
I knew Goku was japanese, I mean… I think I knew. I don’t know. I don’t remember spending much time thinking about that when I was a kid. But I know I became more interested in japanese culture when I started watching Naruto. By that time I was on my sweet sixteen, maybe seventeen. Also by that time, was when ADSL became avaiable on the portuguese market, something that culturally speaking opened many doors. Yes young people, before the rise of the broadband internet, people like me would have to watch anime on TV. And I didn’t even had cable, so it was that or buying DivX piracy. And when I needed to educate myself about something, I would have to use the computers in the library or proceed to that archaic method called reading a book.
The first japanese food I tried was, obviously, sushi. I paid good money for it. By that time there was no all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants and it was not as popular as nowadays. At least not in Portugal. But, speaking the truth, cheap or expensive, sushi has always tasted the same to me – like soy and wasabi. Even though I was a fan. I was also a fan of gyoza, ramen, teriyaki chicken, mochi, miso, amongst other things.
I know that vegetarian sushi is one of those recipes everybody is looking for when reading a cooking blog. And I will publish it one day, believe me, but I just don’t find my recipe that different from anything else you could find in any other blog. And, to be very honest with you, I am no sushi master. I like doing it at home sometimes, but I never worked with it on a professional level.
There are many interesting japanese recipes to share. Many of them, like mochi, gyoza or even almost every sushi variety, demand great technical skills and lots of hours of practice. That is why I chose to share something incredibly easy but nonetheless tasty – miso soup.
Miso is a traditional japanese paste obtained through the fermentation of soybeans with salt and koji (some fungus variety). It is also possible to find varieties made from fermented barley or brown rice. In Japan cuisine this paste is used to season meat, fish, prepare sauces, fillings or even soups. Like almost every oriental fermented food, it is quite salty, so you may take it easy on your salt intake when cooking with miso. On the other hand, this paste is super rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and probiotics. A true spectacle to the gut, I would say.
For 2 Pax
6 Cups of Water
1 TSP of Veggie Stock powder
1 TBSP of Mustard
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 Lemongrass stick
1 Piece of Ginger
2 TBSP of Miso
50 gr. of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
400 gr. of Edamame (just the beans without the pod)
1 Red Bell Pepper
140 gr. of canned Water Chestnuts (or bamboo shoots)
150 gr. of Soba Noodles
Handful of Cashews (and/or sunflower seeds)
Soy sauce (to taste)
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in 6 cups of warm water for about half an hour;
- When the mushrooms are soft and easy to cut, well… cut them in quarters or something;
- Pour the soaking water in a large pot;
- Peel the ginger and chop it roughly;
- Add in the mushrooms, ginger, mustard, veggie stock powder, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass to the water and let it boil;
- Add in the water chestnuts and let it cook covered in low heat until the mushrooms are soft and tender;
- In the meanwhile, cook your noodles in boiling water with a pinch of salt you desire so;
- Sauté the cashews and sunflower seeds on a hot a pan;
- Be careful – nuts and seeds tend to burn very quickly:
- Cut the bell pepper in thin slices;
- Chop the basil;
- Leave some leaves for decoration if you’re really inspired;
- Finally add in the edamame to the rest of the ingredients in the pot and let it boil one last time;
- The reason for this is because such a large amount of beans will certainly lower the water temperature, specially if you’re directly throwing in frozen edamame;
- At last, remove the pot from the heat and add in the miso;
- I always use a small and fine sieve to dissolve the paste directly in the pot; If you don’t own one, I would recommend dissolving the paste in a small bowl with a bit of warm water and just then adding it to the pot;
- Like I reffered before, miso is a fermented food rich in probiotics that will help boosting your immune system and gut flora. For this reason we are adding the paste just at last, as the boiling hot water tends to kill most of its good bacteria;
- Serve the soup with the noodles, chopped basil and cashews;
- Season with some soy sauce if you desire so;
- If you’re like me and you like hot and spicy food, give it some sriracha on the top 🙂
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Blue – 48% Carbs
Red – 33% Fat
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Note: These values are for half the recipe.