Miso Soup with Tofu and Spinach

I recently came up with this miso soup recipe after following another recipe that came out way too salty.

Play around with the combination of misos until you find what suits your tastes. The white miso is sweeter and less salty. The red miso is aged and has more umami and bite to it.

The spinach is adding an extra nutritional punch, but leave it out if you like.  Also you could substitute bean sprouts,  shaved carrot or daikon, cabbage, or whatever you fancy.

Shichimi togarashi is also called Japanese seven spice seasoning.  It contains red pepper, roasted orange peel, yellow sesame seed, black sesame seed, Japanese pepper, seaweed, and ginger; it is delicious sprinkled on many dishes.  You will find it at Asian supermarkets.

The miso will separate so stir before serving and stir occasionally while eating.

The end result is a delicious layering of umami, all without msg or any gimmick squeezed from a tube.

Miso Soup

Serves 4-6

6 cups dashi
1 cup spinach leaves
5 ounces medium or firm silken tofu (about 1 1/2 cups), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 scallions, finely sliced, including both white & green
3 tablespoons red miso
3 tablespoons white miso
1/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi, or cayenne pepper

Bring dashi to simmer and add spinach leaves.  Once the leaves have wilted (1 to 2 minutes), add the scallions and tofu.  Simmer for half a minute.  Turn off heat.  Allow to cool to 100 degrees (about 15 minutes).  Put misos into bowl and ladle in one cup of dashi.  Whisk together.  Add miso to soup and whisk until smooth.  Return to low simmer, but do not boil.  Serve in bowls sprinkled with shichimi togarashi.

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