Additional Information
Submitted on: 12/3/2002

Japanese Miso Soup
A light Japanese soup

Ingredients
5 c water
3 to 4 T Ako Miso (red soy bean paste)*
1 pkg (3 T) dried shaved bonito flakes
1 tsp instant dashi (Hon-Dashi - bonito soup stock by Ajinomoto Co)
or 3"x3" piece of kombu**
3 scallions, chopped
* Miso comes in a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Generally white types are sweet, red types are salty. Usually found in the refrigerated section.
** dashi - 1 oz giant kelp (konbu) can be used in place of the instant dashi.
Supplimentary ingredients:
1 lb. pork meat, cubed
6 to 8 dried shitake mushrooms
1/2 pkg. tofu, cut into 1" squares
1 to 2 bundles somen (a very thin white noodle, typ. bundled in the center with a paper strip)

Instructions
In a medium sauce pan add cubed pork meat (if using pork) and water; cook until tender. Remove excess oil with a separator. Add additional water if necessary to make about 5 cups. Meanwhile soak dried shitake mushrooms in warm water until tender, rinse. Cut out and discard stems. Slice caps thinly and add to pork broth. Bring to a bild, and add miso, bonito flakes, dashi, scallions, and tofu. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile cook somen according to package directions (2-3 minutes). Pour soup over somen, top with fresh cut scallions and serve. For a light clear miso soup called shirumono, which means "soothing to drink", which is served for breakfast or as an appetizer in the first course of the Japanese meal. Bring water to a boil. Add miso, bonito flakes, dashi, and scallions. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow bonito flakes to settle to the bottom. Pour through a strainer. Top with fresh cut scallions and serve.