Tuesday, November 1, 2011
There is a chain of Sushi restaurants back in Atlanta called RuSans. They are open late, their sushi is really inexpensive, and they have the best Miso soup I've ever had anywhere. There used to be one right by my house... so close you could walk there.
I've spent many a late night there grabbing dinner after a show. Even when I didn't eat fish or meat, their vegetarian sushi made me incredibly happy. I loved their (extremely delicious but not too healthy) cream cheese tempura roll. Now that my diet is much more varied, it's anything with Eel, maybe a rainbow roll, and always always a bowl of Miso soup.
It just stands up, and they must do something magical to it because it's very hard to replicate. When the other half of me went back to Atlanta for a visit, the first picture he sent me was of the instantly recognizable Miso soup.
The thing about Miso soup is that it's so salty and simple and warming and good. It's not too filling, but it is still incredibly satisfying. There are so many different variations of something so utterly basic. A lot of people put in seaweed or tofu chunks. Almost everyone tops it with thinly sliced green onion. For me, though, to emulate Ru Sans, the main thing that has to go in the soup are a spoonful or two of cooked Soba Noodles hiding in the bottom of the bowl.
There are a couple of specialty ingredients in Miso Soup, but once you have them in stock, you won't need to refresh them for a while. If you have an Asian Grocery store near you, just pop in and pick up the Bonito/Dashi and the Miso paste, and one package of each should last you a very long time. I make this soup all the time when I'm in the mood for something salty and warming. I'm certain this is not an authentic Miso Soup, but it sure is tasty.
This soup comes together in a snap once you have the ingredients. Bonito or Dashi flakes will work well in this. You'll probably need to ask someone to help you find them. If you skip them, your soup will still taste okay but it will be missing a roundness of flavor.
2 Cups Water
4 Tablespoons Miso Paste
2 Hefty pinches Bonito/Dashi Flakes
4 Tablespoons cooked Soba Noodles
1/2 Green Onion
Boil two cups of water and put in the Bonito flakes. Let sit off the heat for ten minutes and then strain. Return the pan to the heat and mix in the Miso, stirring well to incorporate. Heat for about five minutes. In two soup boils, put two tablespoons each of Soba noodles. Pour half the soup over each and top with a sprinkling on green onion.
Makes Two Servings