Warm up with a nice bowl of soup...Today, the wind was blowing kind of wildly, knocking over most of my plants on the lanai. A twister hit the northern island of Hokkaido and some lives were lost. Where did autumn go? Are we "flying" into winter already? Brr...
I decided to make a soup for dinner which takes part of the ingredients from kenchinjiru (veggie stew with tofu (bean curd)) and tonjiru (pork soup). When making soups and curries, I tend to go overboard and add more veggies, sometimes there are more veggies than the soup or curry itself. This soup is rather easy to make and you can add whatever veggies you have or you like.
Kenchin-Ton-jiru : Serves 4
150g thinly sliced pork, cut into bite size pieces
1 block konnyaku (jellied devil's tongue)
1/2 carrot, cut in fourths and slice thinly
1/2 gobo (burdock), thinly sliced
2 kabura (small round, white radish), cut in fourths and slice thinly
3 shiitake (mushroom), thinly sliced
10cmx10cm piece of konbu (dried kelp)
4 tablespoons miso (soy bean paste)
green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
shichimi (seven spice mixture)
1. In a pot, put 6 cups of water and put in the konbu and heat for about 30 minutes, this will extract the stock needed for the soup.
2. You can leave the konbu in the pot while cooking this soup and throw out the kelp after everyone eats the soup.
3. Next put the bite sized pieces of pork into a colander and pour some hot water over it, this is to take off most of the oil. Set aside.
4. Take the block of konnyaku and "cut" with a spoon into bite size pieces. The reason you do not use a knife is to help it take in the stock, you can also break it up with your hands. Put it into the pot and cook for 4 minutes.
5. Next add the sliced gobo, carrot, pork, kabura and shiitake.
6. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, taking off the scum take appears on the top.
7. Add 2 of the 4 tablespoons of miso, making sure that the miso you add dissolves into the soup.
8. Cook for another 6-7 minutes.
9. Everything should be quite soft at this point. Add the other 2 tablespoons of miso, and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
10. Garnish with sliced green onions
11. You can also top with shichimi (seven spices) to give it a little "heat".
NOTES: I used a red soy bean paste (aka miso), but you can use whatever type you have. I don't usually use konbu to make my stock, I buy these packets that look like tea bags and inside are the ground up kelp, bonito and shiitake. Also, I was lucky enough to find kabura (white radish) with leaves--can you believe most markets throw them out? So, I put them into the soup too.
Shichimi is a mixture of red pepper, dried mandarin peel, white poppy seed, powdered Japanese pepper, hemp seed, sesame seed and green nori.