25 January 2009

Another Bowl of Soup

Technically we had this for lunch, not dinner, today, but it's the only thing I cooked this weekend. And it turned out well, so I want to remember it. "This" and "it" was tonjiru, which literally means "Pig Soup". It's miso soup, but with pieces of pork and a much wider variety of ingredients, which makes it suitable as a kind of main dish. I've always liked it and never made it, until yesterday. Now that I've tried my hand at it and realized how easy it is, I hope to make it again soon!


very vaguely inspired by this recipe from the website of Orange Page, a Japanese cooking magazine--the following is written as I made it and NOT as Orange Page instructs
Serves 4-5

1 pound or so of pork belly (I actually had a piece that weighed almost two pounds, but I trimmed off most of the fat and was left with about half of what I started with)
2 thumb sized knobs of ginger, minced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 daikon radish, peeled and sliced
4 red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
4 stalks celery, sliced
8 "baby bella" mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
6 green onions, white parts only, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
120 g (about 1/2 cup) miso

The Orange Page recipe called for adding the ingredients in stages and basically simmering everything to death, but I thought it would have a bit more flavor if I cooked it up like a stew. So I sauteed the pork and ginger together until the pork was nicely browned, then I added about eight cups of water, brought it to a boil, skimmed off the foam, and dumped in the carrots, daikon, celery and potatoes. After that simmered for 20 or so minutes and the potatoes were soft, I added half of the miso and let that cook in at a simmer for another 10 minutes. Next, the mushrooms and onions went in, simmered for 10 minutes, and finally, I stirred the rest of the miso. When I ate this, I put a bit of rice in the bottom of my bowl first, but that goes without saying, because I do that with almost every soup!

Next time, I'd like to add even more ingredients: definitely gobo (burdock root), maybe shiitake mushrooms instead of baby bellas, tofu and/or abura-age (fried tofu), and if I'm really feeling brave, maybe even some konnyaku?!

As for dinner, we ate at Micah's birthday party, and living up to my trend for the weekend, once again I forgot to take the camera along. Therefore, I have no photographic evidence of all the fun the kids had with various Bakugan themed activities. I also can't prove to you that the kids ate
*hot dogs
*macaroni & cheese
*fruit salad

and the adults had

*vegetable soup
*clam chowder
*chinese chicken ramen salad
*fruit salad

We all had
*cupcakes, vanilla or chocolate and
*vanilla ice cream

Thanks for the fun party, Cheryl Lynn! This is the second day in a row I've had to give you credit in a post!

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