from one generation to the next
I have always enjoyed delicate miso broth served with traditional Japanese restaurant meals. The delicate stock is made from just a few ingredients, but bonito flakes and kombu are essential for the stock. I had neither in my pantry so I grabbed the opportunity to test the cabbage dashi recipe from Adam Liaw’s “Big Pot.” His stock recipe was quick and simple, the flavour astonishingly good. The cabbage used to make stock wasn’t wasted either, it became a meltingly delicious accompaniment to simple Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Miso is a traditional fermented Japanese ingredient made from rice, soybeans and/or barley in varying proportions. Dark miso asserts a rich umami flavour while the pale coloured variety is more subtle. In the midst of a love affair with miso, I’d have confessed a preference for dark paste used to dress roasted vegetables but now it’s plain to see that both types of miso have a place in my kitchen. So does cabbage dashi!
cabbage dashi: from Adam Liaw’s “Big Pot”
1/2 Chinese cabbage
1 litre water
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons saki
Wash and roughly chop the cabbage. Bring the cabbage and water to the boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cabbage has collapsed. Add the fish sauce and saki, simmer for a further 20 minutes. Strain the dashi through a fine seive.
The stock will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze for a longer life.
Makes 1.5 litres
main meal miso soup:
750 mls cabbage dashi
2 heaped tablespoons white miso
1 large head of bok choy, washed and thickly sliced
180g firm tofu, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
100g dry rice noodles
Furikake to garnish
Cook the rice noodles in rapidly boiling salted water until soft. Drain, then divide them between two serving bowls.
Whisk the miso into the stock. Add the tofu and bok choy.
Gently heat the soup but don’t allow it to boil.
Ladle stock and vegetables over the noodles.
Serve immediately sprinkled with furikake.
Make 2 large bowls of delicious soup.