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Monday, October 13, 2008

Tempura with Creamy Miso-Mayo and Miso Soup with Watercress

Yesterday was one of those lazy Sundays where nothing really "gets done" but I just luxuriously spend all the time indulging myself in naps, walks, cooking something creative and amazing and watching movies. I can't say enough how much I love those days.

Our new neighbors-an adorable married couple and their black and white cat-just moved in a few days ago and, to my complete delight, the husband is a chef! Once inside their apartment, I was so tickled to look through his cookbook selection--I ran my fingers along the over-sized photo books and started contemplating what book I might ask to borrow...This, as it turns out, was an easy choice to make because there--in all of its complicated shining glory--was Nobu Matsuhisa's cookbook for NOBU. I immediately felt a deep craving for the tempura rock shrimp and felt inspired to try my hand at some tempura. Tempura is one of my favorite things to eat, but it can be tricky to really pull off a fantastic tempura batter that is light, airy and crispy without being weighed down by oil. Nonetheless, I was sure I could at least give it a go.

Shrimp, Avocado and Mushroom Tempura with Creamy Miso-Mayo on a bed of Lemony Arugula greens:
However, I am really sorry to report that this kind of "self-teaching" process of cooking doesn't always lend itself to having precise recipes. I'm so sorry. I really wanted you to make it too! In my sheepish attempt to make up for such shortcomings on the tempura batter (which arguably may be the best part), I do have a recipe for the Creamy Miso Mayo and Creamy Miso Soup with Watercress that I created for just such an occasion.

INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY MISO MAYO:

* 1/3 cup mayo
* 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp Braggs liquid aminos
* 3 Tbsp white miso paste
* 2 tsp mirin

DIRECTIONS: Whisk together all ingredients (consistency should be fairly thin).

INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY MISO SOUP WITH WATERCRESS:

* 2 cups dashi broth
* 3/4 cup soymilk
* 1 bunch watercress
* 2 Tbsp white miso paste
* 1 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
* 1 Tbsp Low-sodium soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:

* Separate the watercress leaves from the stems.
* Chop the stems and add it to the dashi broth and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
* Blend broth and stems in a blender (be careful about the steam) and then strain out the stems through a mesh colander or a tea steeper or cheesecloth sieve. This step really gives the soup a light, grassy watercress flavor, but you can skip it if you want and avoid blending and straining altogether--just discard the stems.
* Return broth to stove, add soymilk and return to a boil.
* Add miso paste, liquid aminos and soy sauce and simmer for 3-5 more minutes.
* Add in watercress leaves just before you are ready to serve the soup (otherwise the leaves will wilt and turn a pale green color).

Note: This is really just a jazzed up version of the classic soup, but the soymilk and watercress really keep it light and healthy while adding a richness and depth that is really quite delicious (Oishi!)!

Also, the Braggs liquid aminos is similar to soy sauce I suppose if you want to substitute it, but liquid aminos has a pretty unique flavor--and it has 4 times LESS sodium than low-sodium soy sauce (can you believe that?!) so it is much healthier. You can find it in almost any health food store or even some grocery stores. I put mine in a spray bottle and use a squirt or two in soups, sauces, gravy, salad dressings or even just on an avocado (yes, it's yummy!).

I took a tasting portion over to my neighbors to thank them for lending me the NOBU book...Then, I immediately sat down to eat this amazing food and tried to ignore the elephant in the room furiously waving a neon sign that said "You should have gone to culinary school instead of law school".

1 comment:

Laura said...

Morgan, your recipes are so fabulous! This looks amazing, can't wait to make it. Remember when we made all those appetizers at my apartment? That was a blast. It's never too late for culinary school, you should look into it!