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


Tom cooks 14. Kyabetsu to age no misoshiru (miso soup with cabbage and thin deep-fried tofu)

A long time ago when my friend got sick, her husband made her miso soup. His effort to comfort her really did touch her heart, she said. But, she continued, "he made too much and we ended up eating the same thing for days. I couldn't say I didn't want to eat it anymore, because I knew he had worked hard to make it for me ... "
How sweet... or does it sound like the recipe for disaster?

One thing I realized when Tom got sick in early fall this year was that I should eat well to take care of myself so that I can take care of him. The other thing was the clear possibility that Tom would not feed me what I like to eat if I ever get sick and become unable to cook. That would be horrible. I should have Tom practice the basics harder!

One night, I suggested he make miso soup.
His answer was positive but came with a caveat:
"Nothing complicated or weird -- no tonyu soy milk or anything unusual."

He has made more than a few different miso soups so far. He has also boiled some kind of deep-fried ingredient to eliminate excess oil as a prep technique -- at least he did it once, but a long time ago, which means he is still not totally familiar with the technique.

I chose cabbage and green onions, vegetables that Tom is familiar with, and usuage deep-fried thin tofu for his review of the oil-elimination technique.

Everything went pretty well.

And as usual, Tom totally ignored my request for thin slices of green onions. As green onions themselves were skinny this time, Tom's chopping style worked fine. But Tom, they would taste too strong if they were thicker.

Tom was surprised at how little dashi we were using. One basic way to reduce sodium intake is to eat less ... what a surprise!

I used to use 300cc dashi and 1 tbsp miso per 2 servings of miso soup; I now use 250 cc dashi and 2 tsp miso (and 1/2 tsp yogurt to deepen the flavor). When using ingredients with lots of umami, this proportion works just fine. Cabbage also helps to make the taste mellow, as does usuage, for example. And the refreshing note of green onions complements the gentle flavor of the soup.
Being able to flexibly adjust the amount and combination of ingredients is a great advantage of cooking at home. Right, Tom?


Nona said...

You are lucky he makes the attempt to make misoshiru. My husband knows how to make rice and that's about it. When I get sick, he normally goes to Japanese restaurant or Japanese market to bring home food for me.

neco said...

Hi Nona,
At very least, you have a Japanese restaurant or market in your area!
Perhaps you can guide him to elaborate and expand his rice dish repertoire.