Recipe Miso Soup: Mushrooms, Tofu, Bok Choy, Wine, Thai Basil, & Other Herbs

Mountain Cat

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This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free. The Thai basil in this recipe was home-grown.

miso-serve-1.jpg


This idea just sounded relaxing, and the only things I bought when the idea occurred to me were the mushrooms (regular white button ones). Seeing the mushrooms, and knowing what was in my home fridge, and out in the yard waiting for plucking put the whole thing together as a concept.

miso-mis-en-place.jpg

Bok choy and soft tofu.
To add more depth to the dish, I chose dried shiitakes, and a little bit of wine (which gets cooked off as the shiitakes simmer and release their unami.

miso-in-pot.jpg

Just about done.


miso-serve-closeup.jpg

Prep Time: 15 minutes, much of which can be done as the shiitakes cook.
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Rest Time: None.
Serves: 2-3.
Cuisine: East-Asian / Japanese Inspired.
Leftovers: Yes, see below.


Miso Soup: Mushrooms, Tofu, Bok Choy, Wine, Thai Basil, and Herbs
  • About 5 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 0.5 cups dry white wine (you can omit and use more water)
  • 7 ounces / 200 grams soft tofu, chopped into small cubes.
  • 3 ounces / 85 grams baby bok choy, chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium gluten free tamari or soy sauce.
  • optional 1/8 teaspoon Korean (or other) red pepper flakes. This will add a little mild heat but will not be past the “mild” stage.
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2.5 ounces / 70 grams thinly-sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 green onion/scallion for garnish, sliced
  • fresh Thai basil AND cilantro, for flavor. (If you don't eat cilantro, just omit.) Neither herb lasts best if cooked too long.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, for garnish

In a soup pot, add the water, white wine and dried shiitake. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and lightly cover. Simmer 20 minutes.

Meanwhile be sure everything else is prepped.

Turn off heat. Allow shiitakes to cool enough to remove and slice them up, discarding stems.

Measure amount of liquid left. Add more water if necessary to bring to a total volume of 3 cups.

Add back the shiitakes, and add in the tofu, bok choy, tamari, pepper flakes. Bring back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, five minutes.

Reduce even lower – still on the heat but less than a true simmer. Add in the miso, and stir so it dissolves. Toss in the button mushrooms. Allow to remain on the heat another couple of minutes.

Serve into two or three bowls, and top with either 1/2 or 1/3rd the amount of scallion, Thai basil and cilantro per bowl. Divide the sesame oil per bowl, as well. Enjoy!

If you are planning on having leftovers, reserve scallion, Thai basil and sesame oil accordingly, and add them immediately upon re-heating. Things won’t be as crispy but sometimes you need to do leftovers….
 
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ElizabethB

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I am not familiar with Thai Basil. What is the difference in the flavor profile between Thai Basil and regular Sweet Basil?
 

Mountain Cat

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Lovely and light - I like the addition of wine here. For some reason a majority of vegan recipes have no alcohol.

Hmmm, now that you mention it...

I am not familiar with Thai Basil. What is the difference in the flavor profile between Thai Basil and regular Sweet Basil?

I'm trying to put it into words, but let's see....
Thai basil is a bit more strongly flavored, with unique overtones that regular basil doesn't have. It's also not as sweet.

I'm hoping Yorky might jump in on this?
 
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ElizabethB

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Will Thai Basil take the heat and humidity of the deep south? I am sure I can find seed on-line. Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I would like to try Thai Basil.
Thank you.
 

The Late Night Gourmet

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I'm trying to put it into words, but let's see....
Thai basil is a bit more strongly flavored, with unique overtones that regular basil doesn't have. It's also not as sweet.

I'm hoping @Yorky might jump in on this?
I think this is a good description. Thai Basil has a bit of an anise character to it, and the flavor is a bit more assertive than the sweet basil. I've seen suggestions to use sweet basil and some mint to a recipe that calls for Thai basil, but I don't understand the choice of mint (I don't know why you wouldn't just add some anise instead of mint).
 

Mountain Cat

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Looks like a very flavorful soup. I usually like making miso soup with thick pieces of seaweed, as they go hand in hand. Adding some carrots also gives it an extra layer of flavor, but just make sure to not add too much for fear of overpowering the miso.

I agree on the seaweed, but as I have a particularly serious dislike for carrots (if not rendered down to mirepoix), I won't be adding carrots to any dish like this...
 

Mountain Cat

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I think this is a good description. Thai Basil has a bit of an anise character to it, and the flavor is a bit more assertive than the sweet basil. I've seen suggestions to use sweet basil and some mint to a recipe that calls for Thai basil, but I don't understand the choice of mint (I don't know why you wouldn't just add some anise instead of mint).

I would say that Thai basil is indeed more like anise than mint... but still a bit shy of that flavor. But I can see anise - a small amount - being subbed in, if the Thai basil is unavailable.
 

The Late Night Gourmet

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I would say that Thai basil is indeed more like anise than mint... but still a bit shy of that flavor. But I can see anise - a small amount - being subbed in, if the Thai basil is unavailable.
I totally agree...you can approximate the flavor, but the genuine article is what you really want.

And, I just realized that I never commented on how beautiful this recipe is. I want to make this very soon, once I can find somewhere that has Thai Basil.
 
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Morning Glory

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Can I ask, what is tofu

Tofu is made from soya bean curd. You can easily buy it in UK supermarkets these days. It has very little taste but will absorb other flavours. Its highly nutritious. My favourite brand is this one - there is smoked vesion which is rather good. This is from Tesco's:

43831
 
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