Kick-That-Cold Miso

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe…

After a busy day at work where what started as a minor sniffle slowly elevated to a full-on head cold, I came home both exhausted and motivated to try to kick the cold in the ass. I’m so backlogged with stuff to edit and looming deadlines that I can’t afford to be sick for long. Miso to the rescue!

I remembered my very talented college roommate Marika, whose Japanese mother sent her care packages with instant packets, swearing by miso soup as the surefire cure for any ailment, particularly a bad cold. Fast-forward from instant packets to full-blown and elaborate soups with daikon ribbons and carefully simmered onions, introduced to me by my friend Brett‘s friend Megumi, whom he met while studying in Tokyo. Tonight, I needed something in between.

Kick-That-Cold Miso

1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil
4 cloves of garlic, whole
2 c. vegetable broth
1/3 c. seaweed/mushroom/leek mix
1 heaping Tbsp. red miso paste
1/4 c. vegetable broth*

1 bundle soba or udon noodles

Extra salt or tamari to taste.

In a medium-sized pot, bring enough water to boil to cook noodles. Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with sesame oil. Sprinkle in a little coarse sea salt, heat, and add the whole garlic cloves, searing over medium-high heat and stirring frequently. Once the garlic has started to brown and looks kind of deep-fried, carefully add 2 cups of vegetable broth and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the the dried seaweed, and cook gently until the dried mushrooms in the mix have softened. In a separate bowl, dissolve the miso paste into the remaining 1/4 c. of vegetable broth. When your noodles have finished cooking, turn off the heat on the stock and stir in the miso.

Makes two good-sized bowls to feed the cold of one or the starting course for two.

*I highly recommend making your own vegetable stock — it’s so easy and practically free! Save up vegetable peelings, ends of onions, stems, etc. in the freezer until you have a nice containerful. Put these in a large stockpot with an equal amount of water, and add peppercorns, bay leaves, or other herbs. Bring to a low boil and simmer for several hours, strain, and salt if desired. Experimenting with different veggie scrap combinations is fun — if you use beets, you can make pink broth!

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