I tend to cook a lot of different soups at home where it has both protein and vegetables so all I need to do is serve it with rice and dinner is ready! This one is a Japanese style light miso soup with pork belly, tofu and veggies. You can substitute your favorite vegetables or make it vegetarian by removing the pork belly and using a vegetable broth or mushroom dashi instead.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 pk medium firm tofu, cut into blocks or large slices
- 200-250g of sliced pork belly (I use the one for shabu shabu)
- 1/2 of a large carrot, sliced thick (use more if you want more veggies)
- 1/2 head of a napa cabbage, cut into large sections (use more if you want more veggies)
- 8 – 10 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 pk shirataki bundles, rinsed with cold water (yam noodles, optional)
- 5 cups of dashi stock (can substitute with chicken or vegetable stock)
- 2.5-3 tbsp miso paste
- In a pot, heat the dashi broth to a simmer. Add in sliced pork belly a few at a time to cook. Remove them to a bowl as soon as they change colour or about to be done, about 30 seconds. Repeat until all pork belly slices are cooked.
- While the broth is still simmering, skim off the scum on the surface of the stock then add in carrots and napa cabbage. Bring the stock to a boil again and continue to skim of the scum if there are any. Add in the miso paste and stir until dissolved.
- Add in the tofu, shirataki bundles and shiitake mushrooms. Make sure they are submerged into the stock. If you need to push ingredients around, do it gently so you don’t break up the tofu. Let the veggies cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add in the pork belly slices. Close the lid and turn off heat and let it steam for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- You can add in additional veggies such as daikon (sliced thick), leeks or Tokyo negi (sliced thick with diagonal cut). You can also use chicken instead of pork belly slices, or omit the meat and use vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian dish.
- I use fresh shiitake mushrooms, if you use dried, be sure to rehydrate it first. Keep the liquid that you soak the mushroom in and add it to the broth for more flavor.
- I cook the pork belly slices first because it allows me to skim the fat and scum out of the stock before continuing to cook the rest of the dish. Also if I were to add the meat during the cooking process, they might get over cooked while the vegetables are getting tender.
- To help dissolve the miso paste, I use a miso strainer. You can get them at Daiso (Japanese dollar store) for cheap.
- Skimming the scum off the broth is key to a clear (cleaner looking) broth at the end.