I learned a long time ago not to overcook vegetables because it pretty much sucks the nutrients out of them and kills the enzymes – basically leaving you with a pile of dead food. Kind of defeats the purpose of eating, right?
But I didn’t apply that principle to cooking with miso, which is typically made from soybeans, salt and koji (a grain-based mold starter). It’s a live, fermented food containing beneficial bacteria which can be killed by overcooking. So my previous recipes which called for boiling the miso paste along with the water was just creating a big watery grave for millions of hard-working bacteria! So sorry dudes! Here’s how to prepare miso soup to ensure that all those healthy bacteria have a chance to do their job.
Ingredients (makes 1 serving)
4 ounces tofu (about 1/4 of a 15 ounce package) – cubed
2 inch piece of dried kombu/kelp (or sea vegetable of choice such as nori or wakame) – broken into smaller pieces
1/2 carrot – thinly sliced
1 green onion – thinly sliced
1 tablespoon miso paste
2 cups boiling water
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
liquid amino acids or soy sauce to taste, if desired
- Chop/prepare all ingredients so they are ready to use.
- Bring the water to a boil. Place the kombu in a small dish and cover with 1/4 cup boiling water. Set aside to soak/rehydrate for about 5 minutes. Do not return water to a boil. (I used the Eden brand of Kombu.)
- Place the miso paste in a blender with 1/4 cup of hot water and blend until smooth and there are no lumps.
- Place the tofu, carrots and green onions in a serving bowl.
- Drain off the water from the kombu. Add kombu to serving bowl. Pour remaining hot water and miso mixture over bowl ingredients and gently stir. It will appear that the miso is partially suspended in the water. This is normal.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.