03 November 2011

Routine

Miso soup is my go-to, anytime meal. I usually have a bowl for breakfast, but it is not uncommon for me to make a quick bowl for lunch or dinner, especially on cooler days. It's my primary reason for stocking up on dried kombu (for making dashi) and merely one reason for eating my way through ridiculous amounts of fresh spinach in any given week. To prevent burnout as well as make use of whatever items I happen to have in the refrigerator, I don't always prepare miso soup in the exact same way. Sometimes I'll add cubed tofu; other days I'll throw in tofu shirataki noodles, cabbage, or baby bok choy; usually, I saute thinly sliced onion or mushrooms, if not both, before adding dashi (or water, in a pinch). The versatility of this dish is simply lovely. Of course, I always have a generous handful of spinach and little bit of spice from sriracha, shichimi togarashi, or homemade serrano pepper paste.
My current favorite concoction gets a briny, spicy kick from kimchi. I've begun to develop a strong liking for the famous Korean fermented cabbage, with a particular affinity toward making my own. Unsurprisingly, it tends to find its way into at least one meal each day; it seems only natural that it would eventually coincide with my daily bowl of miso soup. Shirataki noodles are well-suited to this application, because their fishy aroma cooks out and is replaced by the flavors of miso and kimchi. The noodles also add textural variation and bulk, making for a simple but hearty meal that warms both belly and soul.
Kimchi Miso Soup for One (printer-friendly version)

Yields 1 serving
Gluten-free, nut-free


¼ c vegan kimchi, roughly chopped
1 ½ c vegan kombu dashi or water
½ tsp shiro miso
1 ½ c fresh spinach, washed, drained, and lightly packed
6 oz shirataki noodles, drained and rinsed
Optional: soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free version), sriracha

Heat a small over medium-low flame. Add the chopped kimchi and cook it for a few minutes, just until it softens. The juice with caramelize and stick a bit, so be careful to not burn it. Pour in the dashi or water and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Allow the liquid to just come to a simmer, then add the shirataki noodles. Cook the noodles for one minute. Scoop up a bit of the hot liquid to make a loose, smooth paste with the miso (a small ladle and chopsticks work well) before stirring it into the pot. Add the spinach, submerging it in the liquid until it wilts. Taste for seasoning; add a drizzle of soy sauce, if necessary. Remove the pot from heat, pour the soup into a large soup bowl, and mix in a squirt of sriracha, if desired. Enjoy hot.

5 comments:

  1. I totally know what you mean about the fishy taste of shiritaki noodles. This has got to be the best way to replace that odd flavor with more  delicious ones! Love the swirling steam effect, too :) Mmmm.

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  2. Love the steam action going on in the photos! It looks so warming and inviting! :-)

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  3. Farrah Pileggi11/6/11, 4:34 AM

    The steam makes it look like such a sultry, seductive soup. Great photos. Always looking for a good miso recipe :)

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  4. I just tried my miso soup with kimchi yesterday and it was amazing.  It added so much flavor to the broth!  Thanks for the suggestion- despite the millions of variations out there, I tend to get stuck in a rut with my miso soup.  

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)