He was born into a prominent samurai family in Japan about a hundred years before me Mikao Usui, the founder of the world-famous Reiki method. I have been studying and teaching Reiki for twenty years, and as far as I know, the Master has not had any particular influence on Japanese cuisine. But it happened to me that through him and Reiki I became aware of the Japanese tradition. Ikebana, karate, haiku poetry, green tea, miso soup and we’re all seated at the table. Of the Japanese tradition, the cuisine attracted me the most.
Japanese cuisine is predominantly fishy, so my plates at restaurants stayed with veggie sushi. At home, I didn’t feel comfortable wrapping seaweed in rolls filled with the right kind of freshly cooked rice, so I turned to the soups. It’s much easier and happier. Being content, fulfilled and happy is very Japanese. It is also in line with their tradition to devote themselves entirely to cooking. Consistency, few ingredients, a special way of cutting and a sharp knife are the most important approaches.
I already had a knife before I was fascinated by Japanese cuisine. Someone gave it to me at the same time as a special wooden protective current. Apparently he could see my future. The knife is big and sharp, and the instructions for use completely put me off ever picking it up. The knife, it was said, was the chef’s personal property. It’s not common for everyone to use it. In our fairly busy kitchen, this would hardly be a consideration. Except… Rinse the knife thoroughly with cold water (never hot) after each use, wipe with a soft, dry cloth, and return to the protective current. If this rule had been followed, no one else would have touched it.
So I started with miso soup. It should be said that these soups are very popular and are usually prepared on a fish basis, even if there is no fish in them. This soup base, dashi, can alternatively be made from seaweed and mushrooms. My advice? Miso soup is great even without a soup base. I put a lot of effort and research into it because I really like miso soup. The postman even brought me a cookbook, Vegan Japanesy, with recipes adapted for home cooking. I’ve also made friends with a knife, wiping it here and there and putting it in its place.
Today’s recipe is the easiest miso soup imaginable. For a more Japanese feel, make the bowls as pretty as possible, the spoons made of wood and you can grate the vegetables out of the soup with Japanese chopsticks. I wish you good luck and satisfaction. Mikao Usui would add five rules for healthy living here. Just don’t get angry and worry today, enjoy what you are doing, be respectful and kind. Such a soup will be full of life energy and, of course, healing.
For two cups.
- 1 carrot
- 2 cm fresh ginger
- half a small broccoli
- for a fist shit
- light part of the leek
- spoon of sesame oil
- spoon of soy sauce
- garnished with a spoonful of dark miso paste
- maybe some salt
1. Peel a carrot and cut into short sticks. Divide the broccoli into small florets. Peel and grate a pumpkin and cut into small pieces. It will be nice if they are the same size as the carrot. Scoop out the ginger root with a spoon. Slice thinly to cut the fibers, then into sticks. Cut the white part of the leek thinly and at an angle, use the remaining green part for something else. Break off the caps of the mushrooms, discard the beets. Leave small shiitake whole, quarters or eighths of larger ones, depending on their size.
2. Quickly fry all the vegetables in sesame oil. Before the vegetables are colored, pour over 400 ml of water.
3. Add the soy sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes, as more or less firm as you like the cooked vegetables.
4. Separately, mix the miso paste with some water. Pour it into the cooked broth, stir, make sure it’s salty enough, and immediately pour into a bowl.