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CHEF HEIDI FINK’S HOJI CHA MISO SOUP

This healthy, easy to make, delicious soup uses HOJI CHA green tea to flavour the broth. The lovely roasted flavour of Hoji-Cha makes an excellent base for Japanese miso soup. It’s a fall favourite of Chef Heidi Fink – an accomplished Victoria-based chef, food writer, and cooking class instructor. She has kindly shared her yummy recipe, so you can make it at home.

INGREDIENT GUIDE

  • Miso, both red and white types, found at Fisgard Market (Chinatown) in the Japanese food section. Also found at Fujiya and Sakura.
  • Wakame, a delicate seaweed, found at Fisgard Market, Fujiya and Sakura.
  • Konbu seaweed, found at Fisgard Market, Fujiya and Sakura.
  • SILK ROAD Hoji Cha tea

HOJI CHA MISO SOUP

Serves 2. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

2½ cups water
One 5-inch piece of konbu seaweed
2 Tb Hoji Cha tea leaves
1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
1 tsp dried wakame seaweed
75 to 100 grams soft tofu
3 Tb miso paste (I like to mix equal parts “white” miso and “red” miso)
1 green onion, green part only

NOTE: For those in a hurry, skip the 30-minute soaking step for the konbu, and merely bring it to a slow boil.

  1. Snip the konbu in several places and place in a pot with the water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Place the pot on a burner, turn the heat to medium and let slowly come to a boil, removing the konbu just before the water actually boils.
  2. Remove the pot from heat, immediately add the Hoji-cha tea leaves and stir. Let steep for 1 – 1.5 minutes. Strain broth into a bowl with a fine-meshed tea strainer or cheese-cloth lined sieve. Return the strained broth to the pot and stir in the soy sauce (optional).
  3. Soak wakame seaweed in cold water for about 15 minutes, until the seaweed has softened, expanded and bright green. Drain wakame and snip into small pieces, if necessary. Set aside.
  4. Dice soft tofu into small cubes and thinly slice the green onion. Set these aside.
  5. Bring the broth to a gentle simmer. Scoop a few tablespoons of the broth into a cup and mix in the miso paste until smooth.
  6. Add the wakame to the boiling broth and simmer for about a minute. Add the soft tofu and turn off the heat. Push the miso through a strainer directly into the broth with the tofu and wakame. Discard any miso bits that are left in the strainer. Stir green onion into the soup and serve immediately. Never boil miso soup once you have added the miso paste.

Enjoy!

Check out Chef Heidi’s website to find out more, sign up for a cooking class, and visit her blog for fantastic recipes, the latest, Fresh Pumpkin Loaf. She also offers Culinary Tours of Chinatown which include a stop at the SILK ROAD Tea Bar, and Cooking with Tea classes.

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