Miso Soup with Fish and Soba
“Tempering” the miso with a little of the hot stock before adding it to the pan helps to keep it from turning granular in the soup. Also, be sure not to let the soup boil once the miso has been added, or the miso will develop a bitter taste. Look for miso, soba and instant dashi at Asian markets or well-stocked supermarkets.
- 1/4 lb. baby spinach
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 package (7 oz.) dried soba noodles
- 8 cups water
- 1 package (3/4 oz.) instant dashi flakes
- 2 Tbs. soy sauce
- 4 thin slices fresh ginger
- 2 green onions, green tops only, sliced
- Pinch of sugar
- 3/4 lb. tilapia, salmon or halibut fillet, pin bones removed and fillet thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup white miso
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
Cook the noodles
Divide the spinach among 4 deep soup bowls.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the salt and noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the nooodles and divide them among the soup bowls.
Make the soup base and cook the fish
Meanwhile, fill a wide saucepan with the 8 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the dashi, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heatproof bowl, then return it to the pan.
Add the soy sauce, ginger, green onions and sugar and bring to a simmer. Working in batches if necessary, add the fish slices in a single layer and cook just until tender but not flaking apart, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer the slices to the soup bowls.
Finish the soup
Bring the soup almost to a boil. Put the miso in a heatproof bowl. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot soup over the miso and whisk to blend. Pour the miso mixture into the soup and simmer gently just until well blended; do not let boil. Ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with red pepper flakes and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).