Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Soup and Salad, Japanese Style

One of my favorite items at a Japanese restaurant is the salad dressing. It is so immensely flavorful. Finally, after a culmination of recipes I have reached the flavor I wanted. Of course I love tempura too but that is a little guilt provoking as it is deep fried.
I also like miso, so much in fact that I have been making it for years. When my older daughter was two she started eating it. She loved to eat all my tofu from my soup. She's older now and still loves it as well as tofu. She is a very picky eater but I am so grateful that she likes tofu. I use to make smoothies for her when she was incredibly picky. I'd put fruit, sugar and tofu in them. She loved them. At least I knew she was getting her protein and fiber!

So funny when you become a Mom or a Dad you find yourself rejoicing over the simple things in life, eating and yes, pooping. Oh, and how can I forget, sleeping!

Japanese Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sake
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon French mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons carrot, grated
1 tablespoon onion, grated
1 teaspoon tamari

Combine all and whisk until combined.

* I have heard there is a version with Japanese mayonnaise. I will have to try that one some time.

Miso Soup
While you can get pretty involved making miso, this is a simpler version. You can even skip the konbu step if you have miso with dashi in it.

8 cups water
1 large piece of konbu (a hard piece of kelp)
4 tablespoon miso paste
2 green onions, sliced thinly
4 ounces firm tofu, small dice

In a large sauce pan bring water to a boil. Drp in konbu and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove konbu. Add miso, stirring to incorporate it. Add tofu. Bring to a boil and simmer one minute more. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle on green onions.

* I usually put shredded seaweed in this soup as well but my daughter won't eat it. But she will eat pieces of roasted seaweed when I make sushi. Go figure. Who am I to question.

You can really add any vegetables you would like to this soup. Thinly sliced carrots are a nice addition.


kat said...

Both sounds so good. When I was single I used to make a big pot of miso & keep it in the fridge then during the week I'd add thinks like corn & mushrooms to each bowl.

Julia said...

I love that salad dressing too! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had miso soup. It looks good though!

Sara said...

I love japanese food, especially miso soup. Now I'm craving sushi...

Joie de vivre said...

You have such a cute blog and a nice selection of recipes! It's fun to find you! I've signed up to be one of your followers so I don't miss a recipe! BTW: I am mostly Polish too but don't foray into the cooking very much, I'm excited to see your take on it!

Jude said...

Such a complex Japanese salad dressing.. I can only imagine how great it must taste.