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I’m Mari.
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cooking with mom: miso soup

I make pasta sauce. You know, drizzle a little olive oil in the pan; sauté some chopped onions and garlic; add ground beef or turkey, a can of tomatoes, a handful of chopped herbs and maybe a gurgle of wine - if there's a bottle already open. It's simple and easy, to me that is. Similarly, my mom makes miso soup from scratch, but I buy instant packs of miso soup and she buys jarred tomato sauce. I'm sure it pains her that I don't make something that's "so simple to prepare". I like going home and having her traditional version but if I ever start making miso soup from scratch, I'll probably just use the miso paste as a base and add other things like TVP, diced slab bacon, chicken stock, chopped frozen spinach, or maybe barley. You know, something simple and easy.

serves 6

2 tablespoons dried cut wakame
4 ounces (roughly one-third of a block) tofu, preferably soft but firm is okay too
4 cups water
2 teaspoons dashi-no-moto
2 tablespoons miso, preferably dark but white is okay too
1 scallion, thinly sliced into disks

Soak wakame in cold water to rehydrate, roughly 5 minutes. Squeeze excess water out and reserve. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. 

In a 2-quart pot, heat water until almost boiling. Add dashi-no-moto, tofu and wakame. Stir. Add miso, stir to dissolve and turn off heat.

Pour soup into small bowls and garnish with scallion. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 

Note: you can add different things for variety: diced potatoes, sliced daikon, canned nameko mushrooms (you can find them in Asian markets), asari clams (or cockles), sliced carrots, bean sprouts, watercress, or soy beans for a distinct Japanese flavor or add chorizo, morcilla, corn or tomatoes for an Argentinian influence. Go crazy and make miso soup your own. Hot dog medallions, anyone? 

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