How to make it

  • Bring the dashi to a simmer. Carefully add salt to taste.
  • Do not boil rapidly, as this will cause the broth to cloud.
  • Add soy sauce. (The soup should be crystal clear.)
  • Cut lemon zest into very fine julienne.
  • Trim and wash the snow peas.
  • Cut them crosswise at an angle, making diamond shapes.
  • Blanch them 1 minute in boiling water. Drain and cool.
  • Peel and devein the shrimp.
  • Blanch them in boiling water just until cooked, no more than 1 minute.
  • Drain.
  • Rinse soup cups or bowls in hot water to warm them.
  • In each bowl put 1 shrimp, a few pieces of snow peas, and a few threads of lemon zest.
  • Make sure that the soup is very hot—almost at the boiling point—and ladle 6 oz into each bowl.
  • Serve at once.
  • ===============================================
  • Variations:
  • Garnish: Clear soup garnish can be varied considerably.
  • Always use just a few carefully chosen items.
  • Don't clutter the bowl.
  • The effect should be like an elegant little still-life painting seen through the perfectly clear soup.
  • All cutting should be done carefully and neatly.
  • Garnish items include:
  • Tofu, cut in small cubes
  • Cooked pork loin or chicken breast, cut in small dice, batonnet, or julienne
  • Lobster tail, in thin slices
  • Cooked fish, separated into flakes (use a type that separates into large, firm flakes, such as snapper or cod)
  • Small clams, steamed and removed from shell (the broth can be clarified, diluted, and used for soup base instead of dashi)
  • Carrots, cut julienne
  • Fresh white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, simmered, and cut into julienne
  • Wakame (a type of seaweed); soak until soft, cut into small pieces and discard the hard ribs, and simmer in the soup 2 minutes
  • Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • Watercress leaves
  • Fresh ginger root, cut into fine shreds (use only a few shreds per serving)
  • Bamboo shoots, sliced thin
  • White radish, sliced thin or shredded
  • ===============================================
  • Miso Soup
  • Miso soup is made simply by dissolving miso (fermented paste made of soybeans, barley, and/or rice) in dashi.
  • The two main categories of miso are white miso, which is actually light yellowish in color and has a sweet, mild taste, and red or dark miso which comes in varying shades of reddish brown and is stronger and saltier in taste.
  • General proportions for soup are 4 tbsp red miso or 6 tbsp white miso, per quart of dashi.
  • Put the miso in a small bowl and carefully stir in a ladleful of hot dashi.
  • Stir until completely lump-free.
  • Add enough dashi so the miso is thin and pourable.
  • (Do not add miso directly to soup, or it will not mix in properly.)
  • Carefully stir the dissolved miso into the remaining hot dashi.
  • Season to taste and, if desired, add 1-2 tsp soy sauce.
  • Add desired garnish as for clear soup, except that the garnish can be added directly to the soup kettle.
  • Because this is a heartier soup, it is more often garnished with tofu and vegetables than more delicate seafood.
  • Stir before serving, as the miso settles out.

Reviews & Comments 2

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    " It was excellent "
    juels ate it and said...
    Very nice directions here, Elaine! I learned a lot just now about the Miso! Thanks for posting this!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    chefperiwinkle ate it and said...
    This soup is delicious; I have prepared it many times. Splendid, Chef Elaine, and five.
    Chef P
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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