Thursday, March 29, 2012

4.44 RECIPE: Shiitake Red Pepper Soup


Today I share a personal recipe of mine that has been adapted from a couple Korean recipes. By no means am I claiming that this is an authentic Korean dish in any way. It is imperative that you use the precise amount indicated the first time you attempt to make it so that you're familiar with how it should taste. There's quite a few ingredients needed, but I promise you it'll all be worth it.

Ingredients:

3 cups     Water
1 Slice     Dashima (Dried Kelp)
1 tbsp      Red Pepper Paste
1 tbsp      Soybean Paste
1/2 tbsp   Red Pepper Powder
1/2 tbsp   Light Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp   Mushroom Seasoning
1 tsp        Sesame Oil
1/2 tbsp   Minced Garlic
5-6          Dried Shiitake Mushroom
1 tbsp      Soy Sauce
1 tsp        Sugar
Pinch       Black Pepper
1/2          Onion
1             Korean Hot Green Pepper
1 pack     Firm Tofu
1             Green Onion (garnish- optional)

Method:

To prepare the soup base, you will first need a slice of dashima (dried kelp).

Place the slice of dashima in a pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, pour hot boiling water over shiitake mushroom to rehydrate them. I hear it's best to rehydrate shiitake mushrooms with cold water overnight in the fridge because it brings out the good flavours of the mushrooms. The water the mushrooms sit in can also be used as a dashi soup stock.

After the mushrooms plump up and gets soft, drain the water (preserve it if you like) and chop into pieces.

Next, get a small pan and set heat to high. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic. Let the garlic sizzle in the oil a little bit to bring out the flavour. Just before the garlic starts to brown, add the chopped shiitake mushroom pieces and mix to coat with the oil and garlic.

Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of sugar, and a pinch of black pepper. Mix together and let fry until mushrooms gain a little colour from frying and the soy sauce.

In the meantime, fetch the dashima out of the water, slice into pieces, and throw it back into the water. 

By now the mushrooms are probably done frying so you can take it off the heat.

Back to the soup base, add 1 tbsp of red pepper paste, 1 tbsp of soybean paste (red or white is fine), and 1/2 tbsp of red pepper powder to the water. Mix well.

Add the fried shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 a chopped onion. Season the soup base more with 1/2 tbsp of light soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp of mushroom seasoning.

Add the sliced firm tofu and one chopped Korean pepper- these are both optional. Garnish with a little green onion if you'd like too. Simmer for a few minutes until tofu is cooked, and you're done!

I make this all the time because it's so yummy. I hope you enjoyed this personal recipe of mine. Please let me know how you like it in the comments. Until next time.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt

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