On arrival at Nikkei in 1991 our departmental boss Mr. Matsuda hosted me and some other editors at his house. I needed to know how to survive in the foreign kitchen so Mrs. Matsuda kindly allowed me to learn one or two techniques from her including miso soup.
- Konbu (dried seaweed)
- Katsuo bushi (dried shaved bonito fish)
- Tofu, brought to room temperature and cut into small cubes
- Miso paste
Boil about 2 cups water in a saucepan with konbu in it for about 5 minutes, and then reduce heat and add about 1 cup of katsuo bushi.
Let this simmer about 5 minutes, then strain out all the solids.
Reduce the heat to just below simmering – if you were to let the liquid boil, then the miso paste will separate into little curds in the liquid.
Put about 2 tbsp. of miso paste in a clean strainer and set the strainer in the pot of liquid; push the paste through the screen with a spoon and let it dissolve.
Before serving, add cubes of fresh tofu (1/2 inch).
A bowl of miso soup is correctly sipped from the bowl directly and no spoon is necessary, though Japanese dining rooms always provide a Chinese porcelain soup spoon.