Cooking Notes, Tips and Substitution for Making Japanese Miso Soup:
Optional Toppings: Choose from cubed soft silken tofu, Dried Wakame seaweed, mussels, potato, taro, Daikon/Radish, Shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and Red Chili Pepper for a spicy kick.
Seafood Substitution: Instead of crabs, you may also use crab sticks (sliced it finely), or Salmon, and or clams.
Instead of dried kelp and bonito, you may also use the powdered version.
Easy/Beginners Recipe of Dashi Stock: Just add ¼ teaspoon of “Ajinomoto” and ¼ teaspoon of Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder (staple japanese bonito stock powder) and bring to a boil and add the miso paste.
Miso Soup with Crabs (Kani Miso Shiru)
For the Miso Soup:
3-4 pcs Crabs, cleaned and sliced
5-6 tablespoon of miso paste (dissolve in small cup of hot broth)
Spring onions, minced (or green onions/onion leeks)
Pepper, to taste
For the Dashi Stock:
5 cups of water
1 sheet about 5×5 inches kombu (dried kelp/seaweed)
1oz. dried bonito flakes, big shavings (a handful)
Make the Dashi Stock: In a medium soup pot, soak the sheet of dried kelp in room temperature stock/water and let it stand for about 1 hour or longer.
Start cooking the broth over medium to low heat. Just before it reaches the boiling point, take out the kelp from the broth and discard.
Drop a handful of bonito flakes into the boiling water and just let it simmer over low heat. Let it steep to flavor the broth for around 3-5 minutes.
Just be careful not to BOIL over “high heat” because the broth can turn into a bitter taste with over cooking. Strain and discard the bonito flakes, lower the heat to prevent breakdown of “umami”.
Make the Crab Miso Soup: Add the crabs, onions and Let it simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes (do not boil on high). Add 5-6 tablespoons of miso paste (dissolve into a cup first). Let it cook for an additional 5 minutes using very low heat.
Season with pepper to adjust taste, just remember that the dashi stock is already salty. Then add in spring onions, or onion leeks and additional toppings of choice. Simmer for a few minutes and turn off the heat.