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Miso Soup with Japanese Eggplant & Myoga

Miso Soup with Japanese Eggplant & Myoga

Awase miso is what they call a mixed miso, which is something of cross between white and red miso. The flavor is similar to red, but milder and less salty which works perfectly with the subtle flavor of eggplant.
Myoga, also known as Japanese ginger, is a plant native to China, Japan and Korea. Rather than using the root for flavor, the flower buds and plant shoots are harvested for culinary use. Basically, it’s the milder, less spicy flavor cousin of ginger root.

Ingredients:
2 (9 inch) or 4 (5 inch) Japanese eggplant
18 ounces dashi or quick dashi
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup thinly sliced myoga (Japanese ginger)
¼ cup Horikawaya Nomura Awase Miso
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
Pinch of Yamatsu Tsujita sansho

Method:
Cook the eggplant over an open flame until the skin is fully charred all around. You can also do this under a broiler. Cool briefly and peel the skin away. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch rounds or chunks.

Bring the eggplant, dashi and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the myoga and cook for 1 minute. Add the miso to the basket of a miso soup strainer (or other fine-meshed strainer), then lower it into the soup. Using the pestle, stir the miso in the submerged basket until it dissolves into the soup. Turn off the heat immediately, add the green onions, then divide evenly into 4 bowls.

Top with a pinch of sansho for each bowl. Enjoy.