Yoshizen's Blog


A kind of complaint I received time to time was that despite I’m keep saying “Just do it” and

“Our dairy life itself is Zen Practice” though, there was not so much practical instructions.

It’s true. Just talking about an idea of the Zen and make you guessing is a contradiction.

To show How I’m  Just doing must be more convincing than a nice story.  After all, Zen is not for talking.

It was already a year ago, I’ve shown how to make Rice cake,  I’m going to write how to cook

Japanese New Year’s cooking = [O-zouni] (お雑煮) (Rice-cake in Soup) and [O-shiruko]  😀

But to start with much common Miso-soup (味噌汁) (as a warming-up practice 🙂 ).

—– Like Minestrone in Italy, Miso-soup in Japan vary region to region and the Miso (Soya-bean paste) having

hundreds of  varieties, —– same as the Cheese made out of the same cow-milk having so many varieties.

So that, this is a Miso-soup in yoshizen style. (at least, this design has been tested and tasted by hundreds of the

people in the art events, Dorkbot-camp, Space-Hijackers party etc many times with good appreciation.

Hence, when ever like a House party, I’ve been always in charge with cooking this Miso-soup 🙂 )

The ingredients above, from the left ;

  • Fried Tofu = bought in a Chinese food shop, always comes in a plastic bag ( = 10 pieces about £1)
  • Tofu = also from Chinese food shop. (about £1.50 = would serve up to 10 people)
  • Miso (Soybean-paste) = from Japanese or Chinese food shop (about £2.50 for 500g packet)
  • Mangetout bean
  • Onion
  • Potato (option or alternative)

Then prepare the materials (to serve 4 to 5 people) = just cut as seen on the photo,

—– cut 5~6 pieces of Fried Tofu into four strips, half of the Tofu into 1/2 inch cube, slice the Mange tout bean

to narrow strip and slice an Onion (one medium size onion would be good for 5 people)

—– optional Potato (if it was Baked-potato size = cut each of two potatoes into 4 to 5 pieces)

———————-[Chinese Kelp] ————————— [Dried Fish flakes] ——– [Dashi-no-moto] [Soup packet]

The taste of the soup is depend on the soup-base [Dashi] —– traditionally Japanese uses dried fish

or its powdered products [Dashi-no-moto], but if you are a vegetarian use the sea-weed [Kombu / Kelp]

(I’ll explain it later) —– If you can’t get [Dashi-no-moto] from a Japanese food shop, a cheating can be made

out of a soup packet of [Seafood-flavour Instant-noodle] (about 40P — use the noodle for another cooking)

*  Boil 4 cups of water in a 7 inches (medium size) pan on a strong fire, and boil Onion until they became well

cooked. (this onion is more for the soup base / taste)

*  Then put Fried Tofu (and Potato as an option) and keep boiling.

*  Put soup-base (not Kombu case, and if you have put potato, it got to be near ready to eat)

*  And put Tofu (as the temperature drop, soup may stop boiling)

*  When the soup start to boil again, put the Miso = squeeze out from a cut corner (like a  1/3 inch thick

spiral spewing out of the packet) and stir the soup for Miso to completely dissolve.

(from a 500g Miso packet you may need to squeeze out about 1/3 of the Miso for 4 cups of boiling water,

though it depend on one’s taste — if you put too much and feel salty, put more water to dilute the soup 😀 )

*  This is my secret, I put few drops of the West Indian Hot-Pepper-Souce into this soup.  (This would give a

hidden punch 😀 —– some Japanese may put [Shichimi-Togarashi] = Seven flavored Hot-pepper)

*  When the Miso-soup started to boil again, stop the fire ( if it was on an electric hot plate, move the pan to

another plate = never keep boiling the Miso-soup = it creates bitter taste)

*  Then serve into a bowl while sprinkling the top with sliced Mangetout bean (just give a green color) or

some likes it with chopped Spring onion.

—– The beauty of this design is, well boiled onion’s sweet taste and nutty flavor from the fried Tofu making the

taste very rich = more like a western soup.  And with potato, it’s also filling as well.  Good for cold winter ! 


 * * * How to use the Sea-weed [Kombu / Kelp] as a Dashi;

Japanese food shop sells [Kombu 昆布or Dashi-Kombu] —– it might be from northern Japan of Hokkaido

but most likely from Korea.   Though, Kombu or Kelp grow all seven seas hence Chinese food shop sells it

as 海帯 (Kelp sea-weed) —– it would be cheaper there though, it might come with a lots of sand 😀

and the taste bitter, may be because of the residue of sea water.

(Japanese Kombu was washed in the pure-water before dry, but Chinese one seemed to be just dried on the beach.

—– So that, when you use Chinese Kelp, it needs to be soaked in the water and wash well, then boil it once and

change all the water, then make a soup base with fresh water (otherwise its taste would be quite bitter).

To use Kelp as a Dashi for this Miso-soup, use 2 of 4 inches square of Kelp pieces, prepare as above

and boiled over half an hour,  then take Kelp out of the pan (if it was a good soft Kelp, you can pinch

and eat) then use this soup base for cooking.   (for Miso-soup, Sumashi-jiru, Ozouni, etc —-)

—– Bonappetit or say  “ Itadakimasu” !   Enjoy a meal.


PS :  Even after opened, Miso can last long time though, Tofu and Fried Tofu will go bad very quick.

—– Use them ASAP (use next day of purchase, even kept in a fridge,  is the limit) —– How to keep the half

—– of the unused Tofu left = never freeze (it would become sponge like texture = may be interesting for

—– other kind of cooking ) —– instead, put a Tofu in a small pan of water, and boil short time = keep without

—– open the lid = Tofu can survive till next day — (You may repeat for yet another day  😀 )


3 Responses

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  1. jagan said, on December 25, 2011 at 22:10

    thank you for the vegetarian option yoshisan 🙂


  2. yoshizen said, on December 25, 2011 at 22:44

    As a matter of fact, no vegetarian even a began ever noticed, the soup base was fish.
    But, I can’t write “Don’t bother, anyhow they can’t sniff out” can I. Ha ha ha 😀

  3. Sushi Party « Yoshizen's Blog said, on January 7, 2013 at 14:00

    […] famous Miso soup as well.  […]

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