Monday, February 2, 2009

Miso Soup

I had Japanese for lunch, dinner and drinks on Friday. It may have been a bit much for one day I suppose, but I am a person who lived in Thailand and ate rice every single day for two months straight. I would not recommend it. Inspired by the cold and 101 Cookbooks, soup just sounded so good. It's funny how many times I've cooked recipes from the 101 Cookbooks blog because I think her style of cooking is very different from mine. She's a vegetarian (big difference) and does more down-home dishes than I do, but maybe we're more alike than I think. That or her food looks just so delish in the photos. I used up the remainder of my tofu from Jane's Health Market. Last week was the first time I had ever cooked with the spungy/squishy protein. I enjoy eating it, which is more than I can say for a lot of people. Can you imagine me trying to serve that to my dad--or even my mom? They would scoff. It is kind of a weird thing. It is pretty versatile. My old roomate put tofu in spaghetti with marinara once, it was pretty good. I stopped by Midwest Oriental Foods to get soba noodles and miso paste. I don't think I found the right kind of paste. I ended up with a packet of powdered substance (sort of pasty) with dried up bits of tofu and seaweed. What I made was probably the Japanese equivalent to American college students inventing dishes to go with ramen noodles. In Japan, they improvise with miso soup and soba noodles. I think I may have digressed here back when I tried to make Thai green curry, but if anyone in the Omaha-area is interested, there are a grip of Oriental and specialty food stores on 84th Street between Center and L. Aki used to fly in fresh sushi-grade fish the first Saturday of the month. Though they stopped doing it about a year ago, they do have the only (frozen) sushi-grade fish in town. And (I'm not supposed to tell you this) but when the local sushi joints run out of fish, in a pinch, they call Aki. Near Midwest Oriental, there is an Indian Grocery which then connects to a Mediterranean grocer. The Mediterannean place stocks the weirder ingredients--like don't go there for feta cheese. We often forget that Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan foods count as Mediterranean. And I finally found a Thai food market on South 24th last week, too. These places are everywhere, you just have to dig a little. Check here for 101 Cookbooks' recipe for Miso Soup.


Kent said...

Miso must have been in the air, because I made miso for the first time this past weekend. I followed the basic recipe from Cooking by James Peterson. I used kombu and bonito flakes to make the dashi. I loved the smoky smell of the bonito. To the dashi I added: chicken, baby bok choy, celery, green onion, carrot, shiitaki mushroom and medium miso. It turned out pretty well I think, for a first go. I'll have to check out the oriental markets in the area soon. Enjoy your blog, keep it up :)

Lainey Seyler said...

smoky is a good description of miso. those sound like good variations on a classic.

Jess said...

Heidi's (101cookbooks) pictures are so beautiful! They always inspire me.
I'm glad you gave tofu a chance. It took a year or so of me cooking it to finally be able to make it the way I like it.
Lainey, I have the same exact problem when I try to buy Miso. I end up getting that ramen bowl looking thing, and trying to figure out how to use it properly in my dish. I'm guessing that here in the midwest, we just don't have the range of ingredients found elsewhere.