While spending a month in Kyoto I was inspired both by the beauty of the white sand gardens as well as the simplicity of the white icicle radish, daikon. I have learned how to make simple soup with this. To the soup pictured, I have added lemon cucumber, scallions, carrot, and arame. You can simply use daikon if you want a very simple soup. For a striking black and white soup, just use the daikon with arame as garnish. The process of working with seaweed is really very easy. Having grown up on the coast where we made a pudding from seaweed, I am drawn to work further with what is now available in the markets. I have used kombu to make the basic dashi broth and arame for a garnish. —Sagegreen
piece of kombu @ 8" by 2"
inch piece of daikon (@1" in diameter)
small lemon cucumber (or plain Persian), peeled and sliced thin, optional
With a clean cloth wipe the kombu clean (see photo of before and after). Do not wash.
Soak the kombu in a pot of the room temperature filtered water (4 cups) for 30 minutes.
Then bring the pot to a near boil over a low to medium heat (30-40 minutes). Remove the kombu before it boils and discard. You have just made the dashi soup base.
Cut the peeled daikon into @ 1 " long thin lengths or so. Sprinkle a little salt on them. If you are using a carrot, prepare the same way. Cut the part of the scallion starting with the bulb also into thin, 1 inch long lengths. Add these and the optional sliced cucumber to the broth and simmer until soft (@10-20 minutes). Add a bit more salt and sake if desired. Then keep warm, below boiling.
Ladle out about 4 tbl. of the warm soup broth and mix together with 4 tbl. of the miso paste. Add this mixture back into the warm broth, but be sure not to boil once the miso has been added, just keep warm.
Soak the arame in a cup of water for 5 minutes (see photo). Drain off the water.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Add some drained, soaked arame to each bowl as a garnish.