Sunday, November 7, 2010

Miso Soup with Rice Cakes

For the longest time I had seen my Korean suitemate use these little oval shaped rice cake slices in soups, and they looked absolutely delicious.  So, I finally found a bag of them the other day at the Asian grocery store I go to in Manhattan near Union Square, and picked them up.  I tried them out for the first time last night, and I can guarantee that I'll be using them again!  They have a very stiff texture when they're cold, which I wasn't sure I was going to like, but when they cook up they get nice and soft, with a bit of a gummy texture, which I sort of liked.  They don't take long to cook and make your soups more substantial without adding any meat, so they're a must-have if you're a vegetarian looking for something new.

Last night, I tried them in a miso soup.  It turned out really well and I would certainly make it again, but oh, did I have some mishaps when I was cooking!  First off, instead of being a smart person and using a spoon to put the dashi granules in, I just tried to sprinkle the grains into the water straight from the jar, which doesn't have a "sprinkle" lid.  I tapped a little too hard and I swear an entire tablespoon went into the water!  Um, yeah, that's a little too much.  I knew the flavor was going to be way to strong, so I had to spoon half of it out and dilute the rest with water, and I'm not sure how much water I put in (I almost never measure anything).  At any rate, the final soup didn't really have enough broth and it was really thick.  I think it was from cooking the rice cakes.  I think next time I'll cook the rice cakes first, set them aside, then add them at the end like I do for noodles--and use a spoon for the dashi granules!!

Miso Soup with Rice Cakes

handful of rice cake slices
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1 c. water
1 tsp. dashi granules
1 spring onion
1/2 tsp. mirin
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. red miso (or white miso)
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Put the measured water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the dashi granules, mirin, and soy sauce, and stir until the dashi is completely dissolved.  Add the rice cake slices and cook 3-5 minutes, or until they have turned soft.

Cut the shiitake mushrooms into 1/2 in. slices, then cut the slices in half again width wise.  Chop the spring onion into small pieces on the diagonal.  Add both to the soup and simmer 1-2 minutes.

Add the miso to the soup and stir quickly to dissolve, but make sure not to mar the rice cakes.  As soon as the miso is dissolved, remove from heat.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, I totally did this adding pepper to alfredo pasta... I was like, "Alright, just a little bit... SHIT SHIT SHIT!"

    Also, I'm totally reading your blog a year later because I wanted to make Asian food tonight.. *noms chicken teriyaki + udon noodles*