Evening Miso Soup with Mushrooms & Clams
Makes Approximately 7 Entree-sized Servings
Miso soup is a staple in Japan, where it can be found at breakfast, lunch, or dinner meals, usually served in a small bowl to the side of the main dish. Miso is an excellent source of protein, and so this soup is a great source of low-fat energy. Many people make miso soup using instant soup or instant dashi packets. Unfortunately these products usually contain a great deal of salt and MSG. Making dashi from scratch is quite easy, and once you’ve done that you’re half way to being done with the soup.
What is miso?
Miso is fermented tofu. As the tofu ferments it becomes a richly flavored, aromatic paste that is very high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Which miso should I use in my soup?
There are two commonly found types of miso: light miso, and dark miso. You can actually use either in miso soup with great results. Light miso has a milder flavor that the Japanese like to use in miso soup served in the morning with breakfast or in the afternoon. It is commonly paired with silken or fried tofu, green onions, and sometimes seaweed. Dark miso (aka red miso) has been fermented longer, and has a much more robust flavor. Miso soups made with dark miso are usually served in the evening at dinner. You sometimes find stronger flavored ingredients in these evening miso soups, such as baby clams.
- 13 cups homemade dashi
- 6-7 green onions or negi (Japanese green onions, these are a sweeter variety)
- 1 package of fried or silken tofu
- ½ cup fresh shiitake mushrooms (stems removed), fresh matsutake mushrooms, or fresh maitake mushrooms. You could also reconstitute 1/4th cup of dried mushrooms and use those instead.
- ~13oz of dark/red miso (about 1 tbsp per cup of water)
- 2lbs of live manila clams