There was a time when, having recently discovered the availability of dashi, miso paste and wakame in local groceries, we’d have miso soup almost everyday. We were so happy that we no longer had to go to some expensive Japanese restaurant to enjoy good miso soup that we were practically gorging on it. My daughters, Sam and Alex had become so adept at preparing it that they no longer needed me to supervise.
Then, after a while, we realized you can have too much of a good thing. We were having miso soup too often it came to a point when we felt satiated then bored and, finally, miso soup became an occasional dish in the house. In fact, it became an emergency soup of sorts. No soup for the day? Let’s have miso soup. You get the picture.
So, I started deviating from the basic miso soup recipe and, over time, came up with great ways to make miso soup by adding an assortment of ingredients like seafood, wontons, meat and vegetables.
Miso Soup with Bangus (Milkfish) Fillets and Malunggay (Moringa) Leaves
- 2 bangus (milkfish) belly fillets cut into one-inch squares (about 2 cups after cutting)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce to taste
- 1 300-gram cake silken tofu cut into ½-inch cubes
- 6 cups dashi (or dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons dashi granules in 6 cups of water)
- 3 tablespoons miso paste
- malunggay (moringa) leaves as much or as little as you like
- In a pot, heat the dashi.
- Ladle about half a cup of hot dashi into a bowl and stir in the miso paste until free from lumps.
- Drop the fish squares into the pot, stir and allow the water to come to the boil. Lower the heat at once, cover the pot and let the fish simmer for five minutes. That’s all the time they need to cook. Seriously.
- Turn up the heat and add the tofu cubes to the pot. When the liquid simmers, count 30 seconds, add the malunggay leaves, pressing them lightly into the liquid. Cook for a minute then turn off the heat.
- Stir the miso paste into the broth. Taste and add fish sauce, if needed.
- Serve the soup hot.