Soybeans are such an integral part of Asian cooking that tofu is often paired with edamame in the same preparation, showcasing the beans’ versatility. In this lovely Japanese soup, white silken tofu is surrounded by a green moat of pureed edamame. Traditionally, pods of fresh soybeans would be boiled, shelled, and hand mashed. You can liberate yourself by using frozen edamame and a blender.
This soup comes together in a snap and is elegant enough for company. For extra flair, use homemade Citrus-Scented Silken Tofu. When making the soup with vegetarian dashi, tester Susan Pi doubled the miso.
1/4 cup packed cooked white rice (short, medium, or long grain)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water, filtered or spring preferred
6 ounces (1 rounded cup) frozen edamame, thawed and at room temperature
About 1 1/2 teaspoons white (shiro) miso
About 1 cup Dashi Stock
Japanese ground chile pepper (ichimi togarashi), fresh citrus zest, or 6 edible flower petals, for garnish
1. In a small saucepan, combine the rice, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Partially cover, and adjust the heat to allow the mixture to gently bubble for 10 to 12 minutes. The rice will enlarge and release its starch into the water, creating a slightly thick opaque mixture similar to a thin gruel. Add the edamame, then turn off the heat. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the rice gruel and edamame to a blender. Add the miso and blend until smooth. Add the dashi stock and continue blending to incorporate the liquid well. Taste and add extra miso or dashi if you want a more savory flavor or thinner soup, respectively. Pour through a mesh strainer positioned over a bowl or saucepan; stir to facilitate straining. Discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate up to a day in advance. You should have about 3 cups.
3. The soup may be served cold, warm, or hot. If you are serving the soup warm or hot, bring the tofu to room temperature or warm it by letting it sit in hot water for about 10 minutes. Regardless, cut the tofu into 4 to 6 blocks (one for each serving); use a crinkle cutter if you want pretty ridged surfaces. Place each block of tofu in a shallow soup bowl, then ladle the soup around it. Top the tofu with the garnish of your choice and serve.
Reprinted with permission from Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home by Andrea Nguyen, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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