This morning I peppered the Japanese farmer at our farmer’s market with miso soup questions. I was pretty sure that they were not drinking anything instant, but I was very surprised to hear that they cook miso soup as traditionally as one could possibly imagine. First of all they make their own miso. And when the next batch is ready, I’ll be buying some for my own use. I’ve bought it from them before and when you take a sniff it is like being back in Japan.
Granted not everyone is going to make their own miso, but even more surprising to me was that they make dashi the old-fashioned way. That is, they use a block of dried katsuo (bonito), shave flakes off of it, and then create the broth using iwashi, or dried sardines as well. I’m more of a fan of the bonito and konbu mix myself, but where on earth did they find a block of dried bonito, I wondered. It turns out that they get it sent from Japan, but he suggested I look online. Sure enough, I could buy both the wooden shaving box and a block of bonito online. At a cost. I’m not going there yet, but I bet I will by the end of this year. Meanwhile, just to check myself I watched this video on how to make perfect miso soup. Maybe it will be useful to you as well.
Today’s miso soup: I bought some white miso at our Asian market today and made a delicious Kyoto-style miso soup with atsuage (deep fried tofu), daikon (from the Japanese farmer), carrot, shiitake, and scallions. Delicious!