Miso Soup with Shrimp and Pea Shoots
Simple but satisfying, miso soup is traditionally served with dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced green onions and tiny cubes of tofu. Here, it gets a springtime makeover with shrimp and pea shoots. Kombu (a type of seaweed) and bonito flakes (dried fish flakes) are staples in Japanese cooking and are available at almost any Asian market.
- 3-inch (7.5-cm) piece kombu
- 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) cold water
- 1⁄2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) bonito flakes
- 2 Tbs. light miso paste
- 1/4 lb. (4 oz./125 g) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) pea shoots
In a large saucepan, combine the kombu and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove and discard the kombu. Remove from the heat, add the bonito flakes and stir gently once. Let stand for 5 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the bonito flakes. Return the broth to the saucepan.
In a small bowl, combine the miso paste with 1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the warm broth. Stir until the paste is softened and very smooth. Stir into the broth and warm gently over medium heat, taking care not to boil the soup.
Add the shrimp and simmer just until bright pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the pea shoots and serve immediately. Serves 2.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011)