Japanese-Style Mushroom, Garlic and Tofu Miso Soup
By Heidi Allison
An homage to the deeply-comforting Japanese-style Ramen noodle soups, this scratch-made contemporary Asian-inspired chicken, garlic and Miso soup switches out the traditional dashi stock (dried, shaved bonita, sardine or tuna flakes, kombu and water) for a rich chicken bone-broth stock and curly Ramen wheat noodles for organic, sprouted, firm tofu, adds seared Asian mushrooms, a perfectly-cooked, “jammy-yolk” stage hardboiled organic egg, and, is garnished with slivered green onions, shaved garlic, a drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil and a generous sprinkling of toasted black sesame seeds before serving.
Ramen is a traditional Japanese dish using thin wheat noodles in a rich broth imbued with meat, veggies, and toppings—it's a soul-satisfying meal in a bowl. And there are as many variations: Chatsu ramen uses marinated and simmered pork as a topping; Dashi ramen uses dried, shaved fish and seaweed for its stock; Hakata ramen is made with a gelatinous pork bone broth simmered long and slow to the point of creating a white-colored broth; Miso ramen made with a fermented soybean paste as its base broth; Shio ramen uses a salt-flavored soup broth that is clear and light; Shoyu ramen made with soy sauce-flavored broth that is clear and dark in color; Tonkotsu ramen stock is made from pork bones cooked down to the point of creating a thick, milky-white, cloudy broth that some say should be the color of milk; and Tsukemen ramen serves the noodles separately from the soup since they are meant to be dipped into the hot stock and slurped.
This deeply soul-satisfying version tastes best with the subtle, refined taste of white Miso, rather than bolder-tasting red miso. Always stir miso into hot, never boiling or simmering, stock. The temperature should be just below the boiling point….Best done after hot stock is pulled off the heat source. The reason for the extra culinary step is miso is a fermented and probiotic food, and boiling temperatures will kill the beneficial bacteria ( the probiotics).
Mushroom, Tofu and Garlic Miso Soup
Serves: 2 large entree servings or 4-6 appetizer
Japanese chicken stock:
1.5 pounds chicken wings
1 large beef marrow bone
, white and light green parts only. sliced in half
2-inch piece of ginger
, peeled and sliced
8 Nappa Cabbage
7 cups filtered water
3 Tbs. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
Place all the above ingredients into a slow-cooker set on high heat setting for 8-10 hours. If you want a deeper, richer gelatinous bone broth, transfer soup and bones to a stock pot and gently boil for an additional 7 hours till a milky-white broth emerges, adding more water as needed.
Strain through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl and set aside. Should be about 8 cups strained stock. Cover and set aside.
Pan-seared Asian mushrooms
6-8 oz. Asian mushroom mix
(straw, trumpet, shiitake)
Add 1 tablespoon rice bran oil to a nonstick wok, and heat on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, lightly sprinkle with kosher flake salt and stir occasionally, allowing mushroom edges to brown and caramelize. Remove to a plate and set side.
Miso Soup Toppings (2 servings):
1 block organic sprouted firm tofu, rinsed and sliced 1/4-inch slices or cubes, room temperature
2 6-minute boiled organic eggs, peeled
2 cloves garlic
, peeled and thinly sliced
, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 tsp. toasted sesame seed oil
1 Tbs. toasted black sesame seeds
Preparing Miso Soup:
Place 2 cups hot strained chicken stock into serving bowls and add 1 heaping teaspoon white miso paste to each bowl and stir till combined without any lumps. Add thinly sliced garlic to hot stock.
Add half amount of tofu, sautéed mushrooms and sliced green onions to each bowl. Adjust seasoning by adding salt or soy sauce, if needed. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and carefully place in hot soup.
Top with sliced green onions, a drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil and a sprinkle of toasted black sesame seeds, then serve.