Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Miso Francisco

A few folks in my life know that, prior to being a saucier, I was a soup specialist. I would concoct soups and stews of every stripe for myself and Marcie. One that I had always planned but never done for her was a Miso. But not just any Miso.

I have eaten Miso in Japan and I have eaten it at Japanese, US-based restaurants. I like both, but the Kyoto sweet red Miso is always a cut above. With that in mind, let us explore Miso Francisco, my own twist on the soup, originally for Marcie and shared with Christi and Jane first.

-Miso Francisco-

One teaspoon of red miso per half cup of water, adjusted to taste
Kale, shredded in strips
Soy curd/Tofu, to taste (firm/extra firm only)
Kosher salt (1 tsp per 2 cups miso)
Scallions (green onions)
Panko or crispy bread crumbs (fresh)
Patience, measured but watchful

Start by making your base. After heating the water to just under boiling, let the dissolved miso simmer in the pot for a bit, but keep it below boiling. After about 10 minutes, add the Kale and Soy Curd, raising the temperature a bituntil it simmers gently again. Taste, adding salt to your liking or more miso mix if it tastes too light. Add a little bit of panko or some bread crumbs, and reserve some of your chopped scallions. Put in the rest.

After a few minutes, cut the heat to nothing and cover the pot. Miso can be left under the lid and will stay warm for some time that way. You can also cook it a bit more if you like before serving, and it should always be served by the cook, not the guests.