One of the most enjoyable things I experienced in Osaka was shopping at the grocery of Takashimaya. Among the items I bought was a pack of dried seaweed and shiitake. Half of it, my daughter used for her ramen; the other half, I cooked into shrimp miso soup.
Dried seaweed and shiitake might not sound too exciting, I know. They are not hard to find in local groceries. But it’s the combination that excited me. And the convenience. It’s not just shiitake and wakame in the pack but carrot and turnip too. Everything to get an authentic Japanese flavor in a pot of soup.
The pack makes for less wasteful cooking too. No need to buy an entire bag of wakame (it comes in large bags in my country) or a whole carrot and turnip for a single pot of soup.
Above, half of the contents of the pack. It’s just a handful but, with that, I was able to make a pot of chunky miso soup that was enough to serve six people.
Of course, you’ll need more than dried wakame and shiitake to cook shrimp miso soup. You’ll need shelled and deveined shrimps, dashi and miso paste too.
Dashi is available in granule form in most Asian groceries of the Asian aisle of groceries. I use about a tablespoon for every two cups of water.
As for the miso paste, there are white, yellow, brown and red varieties. I prefer brown.
And how much shrimps? I used more than half a kilo of rather large shrimps. But that’s the weight before I discarded the heads and shells. All in all, 16 whole shrimps went into the soup. You many decide how many shrimps you want by the number of pieces or by weight. That’s totally up to you.
Shrimp Miso Soup
- 12 to 18 shrimps shelled and deveined (500 to 600 grams before cleaning and trimming)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons miso paste (I used brown)
- 1 handful mixed dried mushroom, seaweed and vegetables (you really need to read the text before the recipe to understand)
- 3 tablespoons dashi granules
- Place the shrimps in a shallow bowl and drizzle the fish sauce over them. Toss lightly.
- Heat about six cups water in a pot and bring to the boil.
- Using a ladle, take about half a cup of hot water from the pot and pour into a bowl. Stir in the miso paste until smooth.
- Dump the mixture of dried mushrooms, seaweed and vegetables into the pot. Cover and simmer for five minutes.
- Turn up the heat to high. Add the shrimps to the vegetables and cook until they change color, about two minutes.
- Drizzle the dashi granules into the pot. Stir.
- Turn off the heat. Pour in the diluted miso paste. Stir.
- Serve the shrimp miso soup immediately.