Thursday, January 7, 2010

Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings

Day 6: Mee-so Yummy!

After having the leftovers from the chicken and dumplings last night for dinner, I was craving something light and healthy for tonight's soup. Nothing is lighter than the brothy earthiness of a simple miso. That said, miso alone does not sustain, so I set about finding a recipe with a little more "there" there. On Epicurious, I found a recipe for White Miso with Sweet Potato Dumplings, which appealed two me. However, I much prefer yams to sweet potatoes and white miso, as commented in many reviews, Is far too light of a miso to compete with the flavor of either.

Miso is made from the fermentation of rice, barley, and/or soybeans, the most common varieties being white, red, barley, and soybean. Red miso is made from white rice, barley, and soybeans and is red to brownish. Red miso is high is protein and is strong in flavor. White miso is made of rice and a small amount of soybeans. It tastes the sweetest on account of a high carbohydrate content. Barley miso has no rice and is made from barley and soybeans. It has a very dark color, is saltier than other miso, and is very rich in taste. Soybean miso is made only from soybeans and is reddish-brown and somewhat chunky.

I used barley miso, frankly because it is what I have, but I also prefer barley miso because of its strong flavor and beautiful brown color. I think red miso would work well with this soup as well if you prefer a less rich flavor. In addition I added some ginger to the dumplings and altered the soup ingredients. All in all I would say this soup followed the concept of the Epicurious recipe, but varied pretty widely in its execution. I served with steamed edamame.

Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings

2 large garnet yams, cooked, peeled, and mashed
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium shallot, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 in fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
12 wonton wrappers

2 cups sliced bok choy
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup dried sliced shitake mushrooms
5 cups water
2-3 tbsp brown miso paste (depends on your miso paste)
1 tbsp soy sauce or to taste

2 scallions, thinly sliced

In a skillet heat oil and cook shallots, garlic, and ginger for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more. Combine with mashed yams and salt and pepper filing to taste. To make dumplings, drop a heaping teaspoon into the center of one wonton wrapper, moisten the edges and draw the corners together pressing the seams together. Set aside.

Boil 5 cups of water, using 1 cup of boiling water cover the dried mushrooms and set aside. Add miso to the remaining water. Add soy sauce to taste and set aside, keeping it warm. In another pot place vegetables, dumplings, and a small amount of water. Boil for 4 minutes or until dumpling wrappers are translucent. Remove mushrooms from soaking liquid and add soaking liquid to miso. Serve by dropping a few dumplings and veggies in the bottom of a bowl and cover with broth. Garnish with scallions and serve.

Jay's review:

4 yums (out of 5). Dumplings rock!