White Miso Soup with Green Chard and Mushrooms – A Heart Warmer And Tease

Feeling like some Japanese soup to warm up? Yeppers, I do, especially today in Vegas because winds are gusting up to 35 mph and the wind is chilly. I did the Rock N Roll half Marathon last night, which was just as windy and I still seem chilled to the bone.

I’ve been meaning to make a Miso soup with some greens for some time now. I had this wonderful White Miso Paste that was tasty just by itself and I have used it a few times in salad dressings and oh so yummy. So I searched on the web to get ideas on alternative vegetable miso soup recipes, and one recipe particularly gave me the idea to add in Green Chard. I love Green Chard – I think I inherited the linking from my mother as she liked to sauté it up as well as beet tops and spinach when I was growing up. Also I felt like adding in some Shitake mushrooms as they are my favorite mushrooms.

The Verdict with Miso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms:

This was a very tasty yet very light soup. I was fulfilled mostly and love the white MIso Paste, but I wished that I doubled the Shitake mushrooms. I wanted more solids in my soup. Also I think I will double the seaweed pieces as well next time. I also loved the taste and more so texture of the Dulse Seaweed flakes when I added more in my soup as a garnish.

I would also add maybe a tablespoon or two of Red Miso paste in the future with the White Miso paste to give it a deeper and hearty soup base. The White MIso is perfect for salad dressings but needed a heartier lift. It was teasing me and left me a little unfulfilled as a Soup Lover.

You can read this blog post to get a breakdown of the different kinds of Miso pastes if you are interested in the topic: http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-white-yel-79637

Miso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms Ingredients:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chard
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp white miso paste (fermented soy bean paste)
  • 1 -2 Tbsp red miso paste (I did not have this in my soup, but I think it needs it next time for a heartier base)
  • 1 sheet (1/4 cup) nori (dried seaweed), cut into thin long pieces
  • Dulse Seeweed Flakes

Miso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms Instructions:

  • Saute mushrooms in some sesame oil until tender crisp.
  • Place water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • In the meantime, place 4 Tbsp of miso into a small bowl, add a little hot water and whisk until smooth. Then add to the soup and stir. This will ensure it doesn’t clump.
  • Add nori, green chard, green onion, tofu  to the pot . Lower heat to med/low simmers for another 5 mnutes (until chard is nicely wilted). Taste and add more miso or a pinch of sea salt if desired.
  • Ladle in bowls.
  • Sprinkle with seaweed flakes
  • Serve warm.

Original Recipe: http://minimalistbaker.com/15-minute-miso-soup-with-greens-and-tofu/

What I changed from original recipe:

  • Added shitake mushrooms
  • Added a tad more tofu
  • Added Dulse Seaweed flakes
  • Added a cup more of water 

Soup Mistress Rating ForMiso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (3/5 )
Taste: (3.5/5) 

Monta Japanese Noodle House in Vegas – Chashu On Center Stage

Last week I was in Vegas and had a mighty fine lunch at Monta Ramen (www.montaramen.com), a small Japanese Noodle House seating less than 40 people away from the strip.

Monta’s various noodle soups are Kurume-style ramen which have broths made from selected pork bones and a unique soy sauce imported from Japan. All of their ramens have slices of Chashu (roasted pork that melts in your mouth and to die for!).

I had the Tonkotsu Ramen and ordered Nitamago (seasoned hard boiled egg) and shredded green onions as toppings:

Tonkotsu (“pork bone”) Ramen has a cloudy white colored broth. It is similar to the Chinese baitang and has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a heavy pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy.

And Graeme, who was sweet enough to share one of his favorite eating spots and treated me to lunch had the Miso Ramen with Nitamago (seasoned hard boiled egg) and corn as his toppings:

Miso (“bean paste”) Ramen is a relative newcomer, having reached Japan’s national prominence around 1965. This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily pork broth to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup.

The Verdict of Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen?
I was very impressed with this little noodle house! I had the opportunity to taste both ramens and they were very unique and had very distinct different broths. We both enhanced our ramens with a dollop of minced garlic and some hot sauce –  a great choice.  As for the Miso Ramen, it did have a very nutty taste and the broth seemed to have more depth than my Tonkotsu Ramen. I don’t think either Ramen is better than the other but Graeme may disagree with me – I don’t think he will cheat on his Miso Ramen what-so-ever. My Tonkotsu Ramen had a creamy buttery taste – a yummy guilty pleasure for myself.

Next time I would love to add the corn and some bean sprouts to the Tonkotsu Ramen. I really liked how the corn played well in the Miso Ramen. I would also order extra slices of Chashu in my ramen – I think it is the superstar of the dish and should be on center stage!

Oh, ya….I LOVED the eggs. Monta has perfected the soft boiled egg indeed!!

Tip: Make sure you come hungry and try Monta’s handmade pan-fried pork and vegetable dumplings with your ramen. Just order them as soon as you arrive – they are made to order. They are delish and highly recommended by Graeme!

 

 

 

 

Soup Mistress Rating for Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (3/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5)
Taste: (5/5)

Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup – A Recipe Makeover

Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup

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The completed vegetable wonton miso soup.

I really enjoy cooking with wonton wrappers and a huge fan of various wonton soups. I was on a hunt for something different from the regular shrimp or pork wonton soups. I  bumped into a Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings recipe on my Epicurious App and decided to make it.

Did you know? Miso is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also some studies suggest that miso can help treat radiation sickness, citing cases in Japan and Russia where people have been fed miso after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More about Miso on Wikipedia here.

The Verdict of this soup? I first made the soup following the recipe exactly, but I found it quite bland. I decided to make it a second time and I adjusted some of the ingredients. Adding a tasty vegetable broth (instead of water), carrots, cremini mushrooms and some sesame oil made a big difference for my taste buds. I renamed it Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup and I would make it again with the adjustments. Also, I found this recipe not super great for left overs the next day because the sweet potato wontons get a little too soggy for my liking. If you are keeping left overs for next day, I would keep the wontons separate from the broth in another container.

Ingredients for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups bok choy, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, julienne or shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cooking Instructions for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prick holes in potatoes. Bake on a baking sheet until soft, turning once, about 1 hour. (If using a large sweet potato like I did, leave more longer in the oven.)
  2. Cool potato, then peel and mash.
  3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and shallot, stirring, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir garlic mixture, pepper flakes, salt and pepper into potatoes.
  5. Place bok choy, sprouts, mushroom, and carrots in a pot with 4 cups vegetable broth. Start to heat up soup.
  6. Lay out wonton wrappers on a cutting board. Drop a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture in the center of each. Spray with a fine mist of water and gather edges together and pinch to seal the pockets.
  7. Set wontons (dumplings) on top of vegetables in pot. Bring to a boil.
  8. Cook, covered, until wrappers are translucent, 3 to 6 minutes.
  9. Divide veggies and wontons among 4 bowls.
  10. Add 2 cups water to another pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add miso, stirring until it dissolves.
  11. Divide among bowls; top with scallions.

Original Recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Miso-Soup-with-Sweet-Potato-Dumplings-240809

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced canola oil with olive oil
  • added sesame oil
  • used less salt
  • used vegetable broth instead of water
  • added some shredded carrots – needed some contrast
  • added cremini mushrooms
  • omitted edamame

Soup Mistress Rating for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4/5)