05 May Miso Soup
Miso (pronounced mee-so) is a high-protein seasoning which is rich with antioxidants and protective fatty acids, and has a healthy dose of Vitamin E. It also boasts Vitamin B12, and has a nice selection of minerals to help boost and strengthen your immune system. It is most often made from a combination of soybeans, cultured grain, and sea salt by a unique, double fermentation process. In Physical Constitution and Food, Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, director of St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki, writes:
“I have found that, with very few exceptions, families, which make a practice of serving miso soup daily, are almost never sick. I believe that miso belongs to the highest class of medicines, those which help prevent disease and strengthen the body through continued usage. Some people speak of miso as a condiment, but miso brings out the flavour and nutritional value in all foods and helps the body to digest and assimilate whatever we eat.”
Breast cancer studies show that simply consuming one bowl of miso soup per day, as most residents of Japan do, can help cut the risk of breast cancer and protect against radiation. This is attributed to the magic ingredient of fermented soy paste, used to make miso. Miso soup is said to help regulate the hormone estrogen in women, a hormone that can cause tumors to develop. Though research into this healthy characteristic of miso soup is still ongoing, there are still a bevy of other nutrients beneficial to humans. The wakame seaweed added to miso soup also possesses its own nutrients, helping to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. The combination of wakame and miso is also said to be an effective fighter against nicotine-related disorders. This is a delicious miso recipe, and is a great substitute for breakfast in winter. It is warming in nature, high in protein and it has a combination of essential vitamins and minerals which help boost your immune system and will help keep colds and flu away. What a great way to start your day!
3 cups water
10cm square piece konbu (kelp) 15g of katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
2-3 tbsp miso (or to taste) (Spiral band foods)
150g Organic tofu Pureharvest, cut into 1.5cm cubes 5g dried wakame
15g dried Shitake mushrooms, diced
Carrots diagonally sliced
Daikon diagonally sliced (Japanese white radish) 3 spring Onions (sliced thinly, white part only) dash Soy sauce or tamari
Dash Mirin vinegar
Bok choy or silver beet or any Asian greens
3cm piece of freshly diced/grated ginger
1 Garlic cloves (chopped) (please note garlic and ginger are an optional extra)
Choose one of the following:
- Buckwheat soba or Udon Noodles
- Brown rice
- Millet Quinoa etc
Dashi (stock can be made ahead of time and stored in fridge)
- Wipe the surface of konbu with a dry cloth. Using scissors, make a few snips into the konbu to help release the flavours. Place water and konbu in a saucepan and soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the pan over medium heat and slowly bring to the boil. Just before it reaches boiling point, remove the konbu and discard.
- Return the pan back to the stove,Once the water comes to the boil, turn off the heat, put a ladleful of cold water into the pan, then add the katsuobushi.
- Return to the heat until the water comes back to the boil, then remove from heat and leave until the bonito flakes settle on the bottom of the pan.
- Strain dashi through a fine sieve. Do not squeeze out the flakes, as this will make the stock very fishy.
- Soak Shitake mushrooms for at least 1/2 hour in boiling water then slice.
- Soak the wakame in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Saute carrots, daikon and tofu. for 2 minutes in olive oil add diced garlic, and ginger saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add dashi, and greens to the pan and cook for 2 minutes min.
- Dissolve miso in a cup of the stock and pour back into remaining stock in the pan, making sure the stock does not boil after the miso is added. (Boiling the miso will destroy its properties)
- Add shitake mushrooms, mirin and soy sauce or tamari, to taste.
- Serve in a bowl, garnished with finely chopped shallots.