Japanese Vegetables in Dark Bean Soup

Naméko Iri No Miso Shiru

Slippery, full-bodied golden mushrooms are paired with cubes of silky white bean curd in a pungent, dark soup. Garnished with crisp and aromatic trefoil, this soup is an interesting assortment of textures and flavors.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup naméko (slippery mushrooms)
  • cups dashi (Basic Soup Stock)
  • 1 scant teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2–2½ tablespoons Sendai miso (dark bean paste)
  • ½ block tōfu (bean curd), about 4 ounces
  • 10–12 stalks mitsuba (trefoil) or coriander

Method

Blanch the slippery mushrooms in rapidly boiling water for 1 minute and drain them well (they will still be slippery). In a saucepan, heat the basic soup stock, season it with the soy sauce and salt, and add the blanched mushrooms. Simmer the soup for 2–3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the bean paste in a bit of hot soup, then return this paste to the saucepan and stir to distribute it well.

Cut the block of bean curd into small cubes (about 50 or 60 of them) and add these to the soup. Continue to simmer for another minute.

Wash and pat dry the trefoil, and chop it, stalks and leaves, into ½-inch lengths. Toss these into the hot soup, cover the saucepan for 30 seconds, then remove it from the heat and serve immediately.