Friday, November 12, 2004

No-Butter Day

* Sorry, I fixed the amount of miso in the miso-soup recipe.

Yes, I had some drinks last night...

Yesterday was my complete day off after the busiest week of the month. It was a perfect excuse to open the bottle of Chablis that my aunt gave me last summer. I made fish meuniere and crispy lettuce & tomato salad for dinner and enjoyed them with the Chablis. After dinner, I had some more of the wine with slices of buttered French bread and cream cheese on whole-wheat crackers, and they were sooooooo good that I kept going on and on…..

When I woke up this morning, my whole body told me to make today a NO-butter day. So instead of the Western-style breakfast with toast, I had a Japanese breakfast.

Rice and miso soup

Now, I’m the worst person in Japan to post a recipe of miso soup, let me tell ya. It’s not only because I never measure anything when I make the soup, but also because I change the amount of miso according to the ingredients. Sometimes I even use 2 different kinds of miso together, which is something my mom loves to do, and how much of which kind to use is never constant. So here, I copied the amount of miso and dashi-powder from the instructions on their packages (To be more precise, I calculated the amount to be used with 3 cups of water basing on the instructions on the packages.) :P

Ingredients (1 cup = 200cc)
3 cups water
4g instant dashi(fish stock) powder
3 1/2 to 4 Tblsp miso paste
1/2 block Tofu cut into bite size cubes
Some minced scallion

Boil water in a pot. Add dashi powder and tofu and bring to boil. Turn the heat low and add miso. Trun the heat to medium-high just briefly --- do not boil too much after miso is added.

As you probably noticed, this is an easy way out. It takes longer but tastes much better if you made dashi stock from scratch using dried bonito flakes and/or kelp. BTW, I seldom make miso soup with tofu only; I usually add something like wakame kelp, potatoes or daikon, etc. Today I put some shimeji mushrooms that were left in the fridge.

Now, this is something you shouldn’t do when you’re eating out or invited to your Japanese friend’s house. When they are served in separate bowls, pouring miso soup over rice is basically a bad manner. Unless it’s a local special cuisine like hiyajiru (cold miso soup poured over rice) in some areas, it’s safer you don’t do that when you are with someone who is not your family member, at least until you become close friends with the person. It actually tastes very good, though…. Or maybe I feel so because of the way I was brought up.

In my hometown, one way to use the leftover cold rice is to put it in leftover miso soup and simmer to make porridge. It’s very good especially when you add a beaten egg at the end and simmer just a little – it gives extra body and makes the miso taste milder. Actually my mom gave me and my sister the "miso soup porridge" as baby food (the soup was thinned down quite a bit for babies), and maybe that’s why I feel so attached to the taste of rice-miso soup mixture.

And I promise not to have butter all day today!!


ting-aling said...

Hi Obachan. I seem to see you in my daughter. That's how she eats not just rice and miso but anything that a bowl can hold. She's not a formal person..she hates it in fact..she wants to feel comfy everytime she eats..and I equate eating in a bowl with contentment..

obachan said...

Oh, that’s what your daughter likes to do? Interesting :) Just being curious….. when you eat “soup over rice ” kind of dish like the one in the pic here, do you use a spoon or do you bring the bowl up to your lips and use chopsticks like we do for “miso-soup over rice” or ochazuke (tea over rice)?

ting-aling said...

Both but I try to tell her not to the latter in public for ethical reasons..haha..she prefers to use tbsp though..did you see the change??? very exciting!!

obachan said...

Yeah, I can imagine how you feel ;)