Whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant I usually pick up a bowl of miso soup. I am a fan of soups of all kinds but this is one of my favorites and I’ve always thought about trying it at home. It turns out making miso is easy and the only trouble I ran into was finding a few of the ingredients. Luckily a local asian market carried the miso paste, seaweed and rice noodles. The other ingredients were easy to find at the grocery store. Making the soup was really easy and took less than 30 minutes to prepare. An important part of this recipe is not boiling the broth as it changes the flavor of the diluted miso. The result is a really great soup that is actually quite versatile–you can add tons of things and it would turn out great. Some examples could be cooked/shredded chicken, potatoes, carrots, bok choy, snap peas, spinach, etc.
Kare Udon, or Curry soup, is a Japanese noodle soup made with potatoes, carrots and curry roux. Curry roux is a form of instant curry which can be found in most supermarkets. The soup can be made with beef, chicken, pork, or tofu. So far I have made it with beef and tofu so I thought I would try it with chicken next. I really enjoyed this version and the curry flavors were great with the chicken.
I recently made Kare UdonB with beef and it seemed like it would go nicely as a meatless soup too. The recipe is identical to the previous one except I substituted the beef with tofu and mushrooms. The tofu was great with the curry flavors. I am completely sold on the packaged curry roux. This is my favorite curry, and I buy the “hot” version. It can be found in the asian foods section in grocery stores: I was skeptical since it looks a little like astronaut food, but the flavors have totally won me over!
I first heard about black sesame pudding through John who raved about it. I went to the asian market recently and saw bags of black sesame seeds. Curiousity got the best of me so I picked one up. Black sesame pudding is a popular dessert in Japan and Korea. The consistency is similar to a thick custard and the flavor is hard to describe. It has a mild, slightly bitter, nutty taste that mixes well with the flavors of the coconut milk. I used my grinder to grind up the sesame and the rice. It worked better than a blender and resulted in a nice, smooth pudding. Even though the pudding was pretty thick, I might try using gelatin to get a more custard-like consistency.
Kare Udon is a Japanese curry soup made with a simple broth, curry roux, and udon noodles. I have tried Moroccan, Indian, and Thai curries but I have never tried a Japanese curry. The broth is called Dashi, which can be made all sorts of ways but at its most basic is boiled kelp and water. I couldn’t find Dashi anywhere, not even at the local Asian market, so I had to substitute vegetable broth for it. I was excited to find the curry roux and udon at the grocery store. The curry turned out great. I made a full curry with potatoes, carrots, and beef and it was very tasty.