Friday, September 24, 2010

Leek and Shitake Miso Soup

A new episode of my favorite TV show was coming on, so I whipped up the quickest thing possible.  I bought some leeks yesterday and I've been having a craving for miso, so I tossed together a leek miso soup, also using up the rest of my glazed pork balls from yesterday that I didn't finish.  This was actually the first time I've ever cooked leeks, and I must say they're pretty good!  I didn't use a pre-made recipe tonight and I don't usually measure my ingredients when I cook, so I'm just shootin' with the measurements below.  Enjoy!
photo by Emily
Leek and Shitake Miso Soup

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. dashi granules (see Note)
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Shouxing rice wine
1/2 leek, washed
3 dried shitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp. red miso paste (white miso will work, too.  see Note)
3 glazed pork balls (purely optional--I just had some left over from last night)

Note: dashi granules are dried instant granules of dashi stock, a Japanese soup base made from bonito flakes and kombu seaweed.  The granules are often marketed under the name Hon-Dashi, and they're very convenient.  Miso paste is a Japanese fermented soybean paste, and comes in several types, usually red and white.  Red miso is more traditional and has a stronger flavor than white miso.

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them, and leave them to soak for a few minutes to reconstitute.  In the meantime, boil the measured water and add the dashi granules, soy sauce, and rice wine.

Shred the leek into 1/4 in. strips, then add to the stock.  Simmer the leek for 3 - 4 minutes until tender.  Squeeze the excess moisture out of the mushrooms, and cut them into 3/8 in. strips.  Add the mushrooms and pork balls if using to the stock and simmer for another 1 - 2 min. until the pork balls are heated through.

Add the miso paste and turn the heat off.  Stir the soup until the miso has completely dissolved.  To serve, spoon the pork balls into a serving bowl first, then add the rest of the soup over top.

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