Miso Soup with Japanese sweet turnip (Kabu)

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STEP 1 Miso soup is a staple of traditional Japanese Cuisine and is served with most meals whether it is for breakfast lunch or dinner. Here we will prepare a Miso soup which includes sweet Japanese turnips. Any turnip with subtle sweet taste will do. After washing the turnip thoroughly, cut in thin slices width-wise. Do not discard the stem and leaves, those are actually edible and add color to the soup.

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STEP 2 Boil about 500mL water in a saucepan, add the turnip and stems and cook for approximately five to ten minutes until tender. Be patient, do not add the Miso paste until the turnip is cooked.

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STEP 3 A major ingredient of the Miso soup is actually fish stock. Shopping at your local Asian grocery store might be necessary here. Either search for packages similar to these ones or better, ask the clerk if they have fish soup stock appropriate for Miso soup. The fish stock can be added when water starts boiling.

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STEP 4 Now the main ingredient, Miso. In this recipe, we use Kome Miso which is made with soybeans and rice, although other types of Miso can be used according to your taste. It is important not to put the Miso paste at the beginning of the cooking process. It is typically added at the end, once the heat is stopped, to avoid altering the delicate flavor of Miso. Gently stir two tablespoons of Miso paste into the water.

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STEP 5 I include this photo to give an idea of the physical aspect of the soup. The soup is not homogeneous since Kome Miso has some amount of insoluble substances. It is common to stir the soup slightly before serving. Ah, I almost forgot, soy sauce should be added at the very end, It is a Japanese chef’s secret that I reveal only to you. About one tablespoon of soy sauce should suffice.

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STEP 6 You can finally enjoy a good Miso soup, whether on its own of with another main dish, like Tonkatsu. If you have any question or comment, please leave a message below!

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Gaijin San

Since my better half is Japanese I often have the chance to travel to Japan. I grew fond over time of this magnificent country. I thought of sharing with you some places worth visiting in this little but growing travel guide to Japan. I try to show with images what I can't express with words. I hope you may find here some inspiration! For those who wonder, I chose the moniker Gaijin-San after being called like this by a waitress at a grilled eel restaurant. "Gaijin" means foreigner and "San" is a honorific suffix in Japanese.

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