Miso soup has always been one of my favorites; it is so soothing and satisfying. Here I offer a variation of the most traditional recipe, using a chicken broth as the base rather than the classic dashi (bonito tuna stock). Shredded chicken, tofu, and snow peas round out the flavor, making it a meal in itself.
1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds, trimmed of fat
12 cups water
8 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter,
smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
1/2 to 2/3 cup medium-colored miso paste
(chu miso or shinsu ichi miso), or to taste
1 pound firm tofu, cut into thin slices
about 1/4 inch thick and 1-1/2 inches long
3/4 pound snow or snap peas, ends snapped
and veiny strings removed
3 tablespoons minced scallion greens
1. Cut the chicken through the bones into 10 to 12 pieces. Put the chicken pieces, water, and ginger in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer and cook about 1-1/2 hours, skimming the broth to remove any impurities. Remove the chicken pieces and let them cool. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Skim the broth to remove any fat. Scoop out 1/2 cup broth and reserve it.
2. Using your hands or a knife, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut or shred the meat into thin julienne shreds. Add the chicken shreds to the skimmed broth. In a small bowl mix the reserved chicken broth with the miso paste and stir until smooth.
3. Add the tofu slices and snow peas to the soup and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the miso mixture, and stir to blend. Heat the soup until near boiling; then ladle it into serving bowls. Sprinkle the top of each bowl with some minced scallion greens and serve.
Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and is chock-full of protein and health.
A Spoonful of Ginger
Recipes from Asian Kitchens
By Nina Simonds
Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created October 1999
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