All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Ohyo to gobo no misoshiru / miso soup with halibut and burdock root

This very simple combination of white-flesh fish and burdock root tastes so good in miso soup made with kobu-dashi kelp stock. The recipe originally is for tarajiru pollock soup, a regional specialty of Asahimachi at the east end of Toyama Prefecture.


100 g fresh ohyo halibut
10-15 cm gobo burdock root
1/2 green onion (1 green onion in photo; use half and save half for something else)
350 cc water (for kobu-dashi)
1 5 cm piece kombu kelp
1 tbsp miso


Prepare kobu-dashi.
Soak kombu in water for at least 30 minutes.


Sasagaki diagonally slice gobo and immediately soak in cold water.
Diagonally thinly slice green onion.

Cut fish into 4-5 cm pieces as necessary.


Quickly blanch fish until surface turns opaque (shimofuri frosting).
Immediately transfer fish to ice water.
When cool, drain.


In a pot, put kobu-dashi (water and kombu together) and gobo (gobo only), and bring to boil on medium low heat.

When boiling, remove kombu.

Remove foam on surface as it appears.

Cook gobo until it reaches desired tenderness.
Add water if broth level goes down too fast.


Add fish, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove foam on surface as it appears.


Add miso, mix, and remove from heat.
(If broth is bubbling hard, remove from heat before adding miso.)


Serve in individual bowls, and garnish with green onion.

  • Shimofuri frosting prevents a fishy smell and taste in the finished soup. If you use super fresh fish (caught within several hours), this step can be skipped. Above, I used halibut Tom caught the day before.
  • Shimofuri frosting also makes it easy to clean fish, especially bony parts. See the description of shimofuri.
  • Kobu-dashi can be prepared hours (or even a day) in advance. In that case, you can bring dashi to boil on medium or higher heat.
  • If you do not have a full 30 minutes to soak kombu, don't worry; soak as time permits (even 5 minutes), and bring to boil with gobo on low heat.
  • Any white-flesh fish works fine.
  • Fresh fish is the key. Nothing in this soup covers up any deterioration in the taste and smell of fish.

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