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


Hoshi-kaibashira to hakusai no misoshiru / miso soup with dried scallops and napa cabbage

More commonly used in Chinese dishes, dried scallops help create an aromatic dashi for miso soup. Hakusai napa cabbage, an excellent match for dried scallops, gives a mellow sweet note to the soup, while the petite tomatoes add vivid color and a sour punch.


1 large or 2 small hakusai napa cabbage leaves
3-4 cherry tomatoes
Tiny handful arugula
1 hoshi-kaibashira dried scallop (rehydrated overnight) and 4 tbsp rehydrating liquid
250 cc dashi (or water; see notes)
2 tsp miso
1/2 tsp sesame oil (for sauteing hakusai; not in photo)


Separate soft, greener sections and firm, white sections of hakusai. Cut greener sections into 3-4 cm squares, and white sections into somewhat smaller or skinnier pieces.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
Chop arugula.


In a pot, heat sesame oil.

Saute white sections of hakusai on medium low heat.
When somewhat translucent, add greener sections, and continue frying.
Stir occasionally to prevent hakusai from browning.


When hakusai somewhat softens overall (no need to cook completely), add dashi and dried scallop rehydrating liquid. 

Add rehydrated dried scallop while crumbling with fingers.
Simmer until hakusai is tender.


Meanwhile, take some broth from pot, and soften miso.


Add cherry tomatoes, and cook for 10-20 seconds (until tomatoes are heated through).


Add miso, mix well, and turn off heat (if broth is boiling briskly, remove from heat, then add miso).


Serve in individual bowls, and garnish with arugula.

  • Depending on the aroma/strength of dried scallop rehydrating liquid, water (or very weak dashi) instead of full-strength dashi is good enough in this dish.
  • Canned scallops (more widely available in Japan) can substitute for dried scallops + rehydrating liquid.
  • For this miso soup, I use slightly less miso in order to maximize the flavor of dried scallops.
  • Any greens work as garnish. Arugula adds a sesame taste. Among Asian greens, try mizuna and mibuna for a soft mustard flavor, shungiku for a tangy bite, and kabu turnip and daikon radish leaves for a spicy note. Of course, classic garnishes such as green onions and chives work well, as do cilantro and celery leaves for a refreshing change of pace.

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