If you are like me and you like hot savory soup-drinks (such as plain chicken stock), and also you like miso-based soups, you are going to adore this recipe. Well, it is not a recipe per se, really, it is just three ingredients thrown together, kind of on-a-go version of miso soup. Please do not be scared away by the word "instant" - instant part of this soup (or call it drink!) is just instant bonito granules. Those bonito granules are not the most healthful stuff on Earth but, I hope, benefits of other two ingredients, miso and wakame seaweeds, are overweighting the all bad qualities of instant bonito stock. I heard that miso soup has powerful healing qualities!
As three ingredients of this recipe are not very familiar to our general American crowd, below, I'm giving short info about each of them:
Miso - Japanese fermented rice. It is a base for all miso soups; can be light and dark. I prefer light as it tastes milder/sweeter. All oriental markets carry the stuff (refrigerated shelves). To keep health benefits of a miso at its best - never boil water with a miso, add miso paste to a water after it was removed from a heat.
Dry wakame seaweeds - is what it says - actual wakame seaweed, dried. They are also sold in all Asian markets, dry, in a plastic bags with a silicon granules that keep moisture away. There are several dry seaweeds available in a store but I prefer wakame just because wakame does not have iodine aftertaste, as most seaweeds do and also wakame reconstitute very quickly in a hot water, transforming from small dry black crumbs into beautifully green meaty pieces of sea plant.
Instant bonito flakes/granules - substitute for a bonito stock. Bonito stock is a stock based on bonito flakes, and bonito flakes is a dried smoked fish, shaved in a tissue-thin flakes. Instant bonito granules are convenient and tasty version of real bonito stock. Realizing all "instantiality" negativity, I'm looking into possibility of using real flakes in a most quick and conveniet way as instant stuff works. But for now I'm using instant bonito stock. To buy, look for it at Asian store, in a section with a dry jarred condiments such as sesame seeds, pepper flakes, furikake, salt and such.
Every time when I crave a soup, cup of instant miso soup, makes it. I even have small jar of bonito granules and sandwich zip-lock bag with dry wakame in my drawer at work. Also small container of miso paste is always seating in a communal fridge at work. So I have my soup any time - when my lunch is somewhat dry and I need soup on a side, or when I'm feeling I'm catching a cold, or when I just sick and tired of tea/coffee drinks.
Slightly salty (depending on amount of bonito granules you put in it), with a soft earthy flavor of miso. Large pieces of re-constituted wakame seaweeds add a lot of body, texture and fun. Quantity of seaweeds can vary from zero to "a lot" depending on your mood. Chewy, not "seaweedy" at all, wakame is my favorite part of this instant soup.
How to Serve
Serve very warm. Enjoy!
Instant Miso Soup
1 cup very hot water (right from a kettle)
2/3 tsp light miso paste
1 tsp dry wakame seaweeds
1/3 tsp instant bonito granules (hon-dashi)
- Stir all ingredients together until miso is completely dissolved (you may need to smash it with a spoon against cup walls). Let it stay for couple more minutes until seaweeds become bright green, expended and looking nice and "meaty".
- Enjoy munching on seaweeds and sipping miso soup.
Scoop of miso (in a cup with hot water), instant bonito granules, hon-dashi (in a small red jar at a far left) and dry wakame seaweeds (in a zipped sandwich bag on a front) - that's all you need to enjoy on a cup of instant miso soup!
That's how bonito granules look like. I like to spill them on my palm first, I do not want to add them straight from a jar to hot water to avoid steam getting into a jar...
Dry wakame seaweeds. Watch their transformation below..
Doesn't it look like spiders? Freaky...No worry ..it's wakame.. just jumped into a soup..
And here is wakame bloomed out into a pretty greens.
Instant miso makes perfect company to my 7-grain kashi hot cereal (generously sprinkled for some kick with indian gun powder spice mix.) That is my delicious lunch today :)