or, weird ripoff miso soup for during quarantine when you can't get good ingredients because you can't go to the grocery store so you have to make do with what you can order online or get delivered from the convenience store, and also you've been watching too much Midnight Diner and the intro shows the Master making this soup and playing a mournful song, and the way he stirs the miso into the soup with his chopsticks feels utterly filled with solemn ceremony in a beautiful way.
Please do keep in mind that this is kind of a struggle recipe, is all i mean to say.
Only one pot needed but you will want to use a good-sized soup pot with a wide base. I used my dutch oven, which was obviously overkill (it's just fun to use) and it didn't work that well because the bottom is not very flat, so a flat bottom probably is best.
Prepare dashi stock and wakame seaweed before starting (according to package directions)
- 6 cups of dashi stock (combine 6 tsp Hondashi powder with 6 cups hot water)
- 3 Tbsp dried wakame seaweed, soaked in cold water and rinsed
- Like 3/4ths a block of tofu, or more or less, sliced into bite-sized blocks
- Half a pack of bacon, sliced into bite sized pieces (in Japan they would use pork belly but i can't really afford it, plus, grocery store situation)
- 4 Tbsp miso, any kind you can get your grubby hands on (I used 2 Tbsp white and 2 Tbsp red)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- soy sauce & mirin to taste
- Heat your pan on medium or medium-high. Once the pan is hot, toss in your sliced bacon and use your utensil to ensure that each piece is exposed to the surface. Cook the bacon until it's released oil and is beginning to get crispy. Once the pan is nice and oily, toss in the garlic and fry it up. Note about this: be careful not to burn the garlic! Make sure the bacon is nearly done before adding the garlic (or just wait until it's basically done, it's not like you're going to overcook the bacon). Remove from heat and let it cool down a little bit before handling.
- Drain the bacon fat from the pan. You can either pour it off, or you can remove the bacon to another dish and wash out the pan and then put the bacon back in. Or if you're a degenerate, you can leave some of the fat in and fry the tofu in it a little bit. This will result in a very oily soup though so I don't really recommend it.
- With the bacon and garlic in the pan, turn the heat back on and add in the dashi stock. Add the tofu and wakame. Turn up the heat and let it simmer for a while (but don't bring it to a rolling boil). This part is mostly just to combine everything and kinda-cook the tofu.
- Remove 1-2 cups of hot liquid from the pan and set aside in a bowl or cup or something. Let it cool down a little bit. You are going to add the miso to this and you don't want to let it boil (because miso is fermented and filled with bacteria that is good for your digestive tract, so you want to keep it "alive" til it gets there). Using a fork or pair of chopsticks, mix the miso into the warm reserved liquid until it is completely combined.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool until it's eating temperature. Add all of the reserved liquid + miso back in. Season with soy sauce or mirin to taste.
Other things that would be good to add
- mushrooms, in any form, fresh dried or canned. these could take the place of the tofu, or the bacon (but if you use them to replace the bacon definitely keep all the liquid). I have never used dried mushrooms because i've heard they can be "gritty", so you might want to rehydrate them separately and test them out first.
- sliced green onion
- soup vegetables such as carrots or burdock root, or probably even turnip or parsnip or raddish
- softboiled eggs on top
- cook a cake of ramen noodles in it
- use actual pork belly instead of bacon
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