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Seaweed & Tofu Soup
“Korean meals always include soups—like this mild one based on vitamin-rich wakame seaweed, the same kind often used in miso soup. ”
¼ cup crumbled dried seaweed, such as wakame or kelp (see Tip)
¼ cup diced strip steak (optional)
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups water
2 tablespoons white miso (see Note), or to taste
½ cup diced firm tofu
1Place seaweed in a medium bowl, cover with water and let soak for 20 minutes.
2Combine steak (if using), scallions, garlic, sesame oil and pepper in another bowl.
3Warm a medium saucepan over high heat and add the scallion mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 4 cups water and miso. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid does not boil. Whisk to dissolve the miso.
4Drain the seaweed and stir it into the soup along with tofu. Cook over medium-low for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with more miso, if desired.
Tip: Look for wakame in natural-foods stores or Asian markets.
Note: Miso is fermented bean paste made from barley, rice or soybeans used to add flavor to dishes such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. It is available in different colors, depending on the type of grain or bean and how long it's been fermented. In general, the lighter the color, the more mild the flavor. It will keep, in the refrigerator, for at least a year.