All winter, busy daddy has been asking me to make my mother’s special homemade miso soup, but I had been too busy with work and stuff. Since I can’t use that excuse anymore, I hunkered down and made some of my mother’s special homemade miso soup for dinner tonight. It’s actually pretty easy to make, it’s just sort of a pain in the neck. Here’s how:
- In an eight-quart stock pot, add enough cold water so that the pot is about three-quarters full. Add a package of kombu (dried Japanese sea kelp), a package of bonito flakes (dried, shaved tuna), and a whole fresh fish head (I used salmon). Put the stock pot on the stove over high heat.
- As the fish and seaweed stock is coming to a boil, continuously skim the crud that collects on the surface. Your goal is to create a clear, aromatic stock that smells pleasantly like the ocean. When the stock comes to a boil, turn the heat down and let the stock simmer for 20 minutes or so.
- Once the stock has finished simmering, remove the pot from the heat. Discard the kombu and the fish head, and then strain the stock in a chinois that has a layer of cheesecloth inside. You should end up with a clean, clear stock.
- Put the stock back into the pot and dissolve about a quarter cup of miso paste into the soup. You can add more or less miso to taste. You might need to add some soy sauce if the soup isn’t salty enough.
- Add some diced soft tofu to the pot, then reheat the soup over medium heat. Don’t let the soup come to a boil, just heat the tofu through.
- Voilà! Serve the miso soup over poached salmon. Yum!