What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

Madeleine20
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 13 Jan 2010
User offline. Last seen 3 years 17 weeks ago.

I love miso soup. One of my favorite things to add is cubed sweet potato and a teaspoon of tahini for added creaminess. Then I have different variations on that:

sweet potato/ wakame/ leek/tahini
sweet potato/ bok choy/ daikon/ tahini
sweet potato bok choy/ bean sprouts/ tahini
sweet potato/ asparagus/ wakame/ tahini

(If you can't tell I love sweet potato=)

Then I also like:

eggplant/mushroom
sweet corn/ wakame/ zucchini

I usually always use white miso. I like red miso better in other types of cooking. Sometimes I add tofu too.

I'd love other ideas!

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bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

I'm looking forward to seeing the replies you get for this post. I'm horribly boring with miso soup - I tend to use it as instant soup at work, and just put in a pinch of some stuff my friend Yoshio gave me, which is dried wakame, dried spring onion, and these little curled up things that might be bread or might be tofu - who knows. A very small pinch grows into a lot of stuff in your soup, anyway.

The only other way I use it is as a base for a full on udon thing (or at least my attempt at the Tokyo udon you can get at a place near my work), with egg and fish and crabstick and noodles and fried tofu and greens etc etc. Probably highly inauthentic, but delicious none the less.

I use dashi-miso, but I have tubs of a couple of Korean bean pastes that I will add if I feel like something a bit hotter. I have no idea what they are though, the labels on the shelves just said "bean paste" and the tubs are different colours but the same brand.

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maki
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Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

What do you mean by "true spinach"? Just curious ^_^

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bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

I wondered that myself and googled it. I came up with the following, which I find a tad confusing, as I've never seen anything like this supposed "New Zealand spinach". The spinach I buy in the shops is also not very similar to the spinach I grow in my garden! The stuff I grow looks very like silverbeet (aka Swiss chard) but with thinner stems. It may be the savoy spinach perhaps. Anyway here's what I found out:

"The botanical name for spinach is Spinacia oleracea. Spinacia comes from the Latin word for spine and refers to the prickly seed coat. The species name, oleracea, refers to a plant that is edible. True spinach has varying leaf shapes and textures. There are two major types of leaf textures. Smooth-leaf spinach produces light to dark green leaves with an oblong shape. The leaves of savoy spinach are thicker, rounder, usually darker green, and range from very crinkled to only somewhat (the latter known as semi-savoyed). Breeders have crossbred both types so you may find a crinkled, savoyed leaf with the shape of a smooth-leaf type. An advantage one has over the other is that smooth-leaf types are easier to clean.

Because spinach goes to seed quickly in the longer, hot days of summer, gardeners can substitute two spinach-like greens that like hot weather. The leaves of both Malabar spinach (Basella alba) and New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) taste similar to true spinach, although they are in completely different families. Malabar spinach is a vining plant, which grows quickly to about 20 feet; you need to start the seeds indoors if you live in a northern region. New Zealand spinach is a shrubby plant, which spreads up to 2 feet; soak the seeds overnight before sowing, indoors or out. "

Loretta
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Bento-ing from: London › UK
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Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

I invest quite a lot on great tasting miso (usually red) and generally don't like to add very much to my miso soup, I even tend to omit the tofu, but wakame and spring onions or chives are a constant.
I do really like it with
- yuzukosho or dried yuzu peel
- small clams and true spinach
but can't get hold of the clams (or the spinach) that often.
For those times I don't make miso shiru with dashi, there's a recipe I posted here: http://justbento.com/forum/vegan-miso-based-soup
which is basically
- jerusalem artichokes, onion and thinly sliced cabbage. The sesame oil is also an important component with this combination.

My husband likes his with lots and lots of sliced onions. Leek is another favourite.

Tab
Bento-ing from: › Finland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 46 weeks ago.
Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

Nothing new here but I like

- cubed tofu, firm or silken
- udon noodles
- spring onions
- wakame
- sesame seeds
- cubed boiled potato
- fresh shiitake mushrooms

I mix in any of these, depending on what I happen to have in my fridge.
Sometimes I use ready miso soup base but if I have time I prefer to make some dashi miso.

Tab

Loretta
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A diversion on spinach

That's interesting that you're not aware of the NZ 'spinach' which organic farmers in the UK are taking an interest in.

Spinach is one of those vegetables which it makes sense to me to try and get grown organically, and anyway, those baby leaves sold in bags taste too much of nothing to me, I like the more mature leaves sold in bunches. Trouble is that it's rather tricky to acquire as it's susceptible to problems like mildew. Quite a few organic producers are switching to beet spinach and the New Zealand spinach Bronwyn just mentioned - just to muddy the water, there's also French 'spinach' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atriplex (when looking for this link I found out that Swiss chard, AKA Beta vulgaris, is believed to have got its name because gardeners in the 1800s wanted to differentiate the two plants).
My main vegetable provider (I get a weekly box) sells true spinach, beet spinach and NZ spinach. Whilst I'm quite fond of beet spinach, I like it well cooked or flavoured (sesame is particularly good with this vegetable), not so much in miso shiru.

Re-reading this I realise that we've covered 5 kinds of 'spinach' - true spinach (Spinacia oleracea), NZ spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides), spinach beet (Beta vulgaris), Malabar spinach (Basella alba) and French spinach (Atriplex)
We haven't even touched on the amaranth family (Chinese 'spinach' anyone?) :D

maki
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Re: A diversion on spinach

Interesting about New Zealand spinach being unknown in NZ. Swiss chard is also not know as Swiss chard in Switzerland (where it's called Krautstiele or Stielmangold). I read that British (or American) seed suppliers called it Swiss to make it seem distinctive.

(This reminds me of a recent episode of Masterchef Australia, which is just as great this season as it was last season. In one of their 'masterclass' how-to-cook episodes, which are terrific by th way, they made a Beef Wellington, which called for something called Swiss brown mushrooms. Again...there is no such thing in Switzerland :) As far as I can tell, they are just regular brown mushrooms, the ones called chestnut mushrooms in the UK. Funny how produce sellers like to name things after 'exotic' countries...)

Anyway. to me spinach is just the original, and the other greens are other greens ^_^ It is a shame how you only seem to get baby spinach leaves in the supermarkets these days....in Europe and the US anyway. (In Japan it's different of course...)

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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Re: A diversion on spinach

Swiss chard seeds are usually sold as classic or rainbow chard (no mention of Swiss) in the US, but in the super market it is sold as Swiss Chard. I have also seen non baby spinach sold in the super market, but then again that might just be us weird Californians.

This thread makes me think that I should try going another variety of spinach, the original got a little too buggy for me to tolerate last time I tried to grow it.

Madeleine20
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 13 Jan 2010
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Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

I've never had udon in miso soup. I want to try that now! I'll get some Korean bean paste too. I always see it at the store but am never sure if I will ever use it.

Madeleine20
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 13 Jan 2010
User offline. Last seen 3 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

mmm I like the sound of this combo: "- jerusalem artichokes, onion and thinly sliced cabbage. The sesame oil is also an important component with this combination."

I've never tried sprinkling sesame seeds in. I'd probably like it since I'm addicted to nutty flavors. (That's why I don't keep peanut butter or nutella in the house =)

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: A diversion on spinach

We do at least get grown-up proper spinach in the shops as well as baby spinach. And they are recognisably the same plant. The spinach I grow in my garden is a different plant from that, but it's also different from silverbeet, which has much thicker stalks.
What does "stiele" mean in English? Whatever it is, Swiss chard (aka silverbeet) appears to be both cabbage and maybe beet? of it. If the mangold-wurzel is some sort of beet that is, which it is isn't it? We don't have it here, or at least not by that name. Or maybe it's a turnip? Language is fascinating.

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
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Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

i didn't know there are so many spinachy vegetables out there! i personally agree with maki- only real spinach is real spinach, the others are other kinds of leaves.
"ein stiel" would be a stem, "stiele" being the plural.
the beet family (beta) is huge, as it was cultivated since the bronze age. it contains all kinds of beets as well as chard, which is Mangold in german. there's another beet plant, Mangelwurzel or Mangoldwurzel, of which the root (=Wurzel) may be eaten, but it has been used mainly to feed livestock and is not cultivated any more, i think. so all of these are beets, even if some look like cabbage.
the turnip, on the other hand, looks like it should be a beet but this is a brassica, cabbage, another old family of vegetables. this one's even bigger! there's mustard and broccoli and brussel sprouts and kohlrabi and swedes.. and another spinachy thing with a light mustard taste that i don't know the name of. but it's quite good in miso soup, too.
oops, ranting! i'd better go sleep some.

Cassaendra
Joined: 9 Feb 2008
User offline. Last seen 2 years 14 weeks ago.
Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

As miso soup, I'm pretty boring using wakame, tofu, and shiitake.

When I stopped in to visit my aunt in Okinawa, she made some miso soup with pork, gobo, carrots, daikon, green onions, shiitake, and garnished with kaiware sprouts. There may have been other item(s) but it was 15 years ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy.

When I make ramen/udon with miso soup base, the sky's the limit on what I add.

Peter
Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

Red miso, hondashi, wakame, large cubes of firm tofu, and crack an egg in there. No need to drizzle the egg, just drop the whole thing in. Eat the yolk while it's still soft on the inside.

Sometimes I also go for the ramen approach and add spinach, asparagus, cilantro (take it out when it's done cooking), slices of beef, egg, mushrooms, etc....

Deena Caunt
Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

I really like bacon and potato. I would never have thought of it but I saw a recipe on Create, Eat, happy. Its the best.

Katie
Re: What are your favorite miso soup combinations?

I love miso soup with the blended? (Shiro) miso, as well as tofu, green onion, garlic, and zuchinni!

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