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

2014-08-11

Okura no surinagashi / chilled okra soup

A pleasant little green soup for a hot day. It cools you down from the inside as the loose, jelly-textured soup goes down your throat.



30 calories (1/2 of recipe); 3.1 g protein; 0.3 g fat; 4.1 g carbohydrate; 2.1 g net carbs; 209 mg sodium; 7 mg cholesterol; 2.0 g fiber



<Ingredients>

8-12 okra (10/132 g okra in photo)
Salt (to rub okra skin; not in photo)
2 "coon" shrimp (small spot shrimp, cooked; 24 g in photo)

For broth
250 cc katsuo-kobu (bonito/kelp) dashi
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
2 g katsuobushi bonito flakes
1 tsp usukuchi shoyukoji soy-sauce rice malt
1/2 tsp saikyo miso
Tiny amount (0.1 g) of salt, to taste (not in photo)


<Directions>
1.

Microwave rice vinegar for 4-5 seconds to reduce sour taste.






In a small pot, put dashi and rice vinegar, and bring to boil.







Once boiling, put katsuobushi, remove from heat, and let cool.









2.

Rub okra with some salt to remove fuzz on surface.

Rinse thoroughly.







Cut off top part of okra; except for 1 okra used for garnish, slice lengthwise in half, and remove seeds with spoon.








3.

In another pot, bring water to boil.
When water boils, put all okra, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. 
Drain, and put in ice water to stop cooking.

When cool, drain, and slice the 1 whole okra for garnish into thin rounds, and chop the rest (halved okra).








4.

Place chopped okra into suribachi mortar, and grind.
Add usukuchi shoyukoji and saikyo miso, and mix well.


Strain dashi into okra, 1/4-1/3 at a time, and mix well.

Chill in fridge until serving.










5.

Meanwhile, shell coon shrimp, and set aside.









6.

When ready to serve, taste soup, and add salt as necessary.






Serve in individual bowls, topped with sliced okra and coon shrimp.









<Notes>
  • Strong broth is the key for this dish, partly because cold soup needs more flavoring for a satisfactory taste at the end. Katsuobushi bonito flakes are added to dashi for this reason. If making dashi exclusively for this dish, make it strong by adding more katsuobushi than usual from the beginning.
  • Okra seeds can be removed after boiling and cooling.
  • Okra is boiled slightly longer than usual to make it easier to grind later.
  • Okra can be pureed with other ingredients in a blender. When using a blender, boiling okra for 2 minutes should be enough.
  • If neither a suribachi mortar or blender is available, chop okra as fine as possible. It would still add plenty of jelly-like texture to the soup.
  • Make sure dashi is cool before mixing with okra to preserve its green color.
  • Usukuchi soy sauce (paler color soy sauce with clear salty taste) alone or in combination with salt is a typical seasoning for this soup. I replaced usukuchi soy sauce with usukuchi shoyukoji and saikyo miso to reduce overall sodium content.
  • If usukuchi shoyukoji is not available, use regular shoyukoji or usukushi soy sauce. When usukuchi soy sauce is used, the sodium content per serving would be 273 mg.
  • Rice vinegar is added to the broth to give a tingling sensation that mimics the quality of salt or soy sauce in the final dish. It is first microwaved due to the short time that broth is cooked (vinegar's sourness disappears after simmering for more than several minutes).
  • The coon or small spot shrimp as they are called in this area are mainly to add some color to the soup, and are optional. A tiny bit of umeboshi pickled plum quite commonly plays the same role.

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