|above photo by The Kitchn / Faith Durand|
But before we go any further, I need to address the elephant in the room: Yes, Mavis got spayed. Poor thing. This past week, her life has been reduced to three main activities: going to the bathroom, staring off blankly into the distance, and sleeping. —uess what? Nothing had! Hence, the term blank stare, I guess.
Time magazine named Bon Appétempt as one of their top 25 blogs in 2012! And to continue my conjecturing, I guess what's happening is that you're catching me in my own blank stare. I guess, like a five-month-old puppy who was gnawing on her chicken-flavored Nylabone one second and coming out of anesthesia the next, I'm a bit shocked. And while I'm sure there's an essay, video, or book chapter somewhere in this haze, for now, I haven't quite figured out what I want to say, except for: Thanks for the recognition, Time! Those who express themselves and create in spaces like this for most-likely just the joy/need of expression make my heart beep, and though I'd like to think that I don't care what anyone else thinks, being recognized for what Matt and I've created is an amazing bonus that helps fuel our creative engines. And while we're on the topic of recognizing people, I want to take a quick moment to recognize Matt, the other member of Bon Appétempt who doesn't get as much credit but who without, this space would be video-less, full of crappy photos, and far-less edited ruminations on food, gymnastics, dance, and the human condition.
Back to soup? Say you just made a ton of bolognese that lasted you for three dinners in a row and you were hoping to eat a little more healthily this week. Well, then, make this soup! You should be able to find the kombu and bonito flakes at your local health foods store. Maybe even Whole Foods? And once you have them, you can just put them away in your cupboard and wait until your body and soul crave hearty, delicious homemade miso soup. Word to the wise: don't skip the drizzle of sesame oil. And as for the chili garlic sauce it calls for? We used Sriracha. Brilliant meal. Now, if you'd excuse me while I go stare off blankly some more.
makes 8 servings of soup
2 quarts water
One 3-inch square kombu (sea kelp)
3/4 cup bonito flakes
2 quarts dashi
1/2 cup miso paste
One 12-ounce block silken tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small bunch scallions, green tops sliced thin
For each bowl of soup:
1 cup cooked white rice
1 large egg
Chili garlic sauce or Sriracha
To make the dashi:
Pour 2 quarts of water in a large saucepan. Have a separate 2-quart bowl ready to the side with a fine mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth.
Place the kombu in the cold water. Turn the heat to high, and heat just to boiling. Turn off the heat and remove the kombu. Stir in the bonito flakes and steep for 5 minutes. Strain into the prepared bowl. Pour the strained liquid back into the pot.
To make the miso soup:
Bring the strained dashi to boiling. Ready the miso paste in a measuring cup or small bowl. After the broth has boiled, pour 1 cup hot broth into with the prepared bowl with the miso. Whisk until smooth and completely combined. Pour the miso and broth back into the pot and turn the heat to low. Whisk the miso until it is incorporated into the broth completely. Keep over low heat; do not let the broth boil after the miso has been added.
Stir in the tofu cubes and the sliced scallions, and heat just until warmed through.
To prepare a bowl of soup:
Place 1 cup cooked white rice in each soup bowl. Poach an egg for each bowl of soup. You can see how to poach an egg here.
Pour about 1 cup of miso soup over the rice in each bowl, and place a poached egg on top. Serve with soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil.