Around the World in 80 Plates, Uncategorized

Around the World in 80 Plates: Japan for Miso Soup

The Japanese are famous for being one of the healthiest nations in the world! They eat a lot of yummy things including fish, all the fruits and veggies, plus rice and noodles. They also value exercise, working as a team, and enjoying traditional foods from their long history.

Japan is a long thin island near China that is made of tall green mountains and lush valleys for growing and farming, plus lots of ways to go fishing in the ocean. There are lots of ceremonies and routines around eating food in Japan, like tea ceremonies, meals with many carefully crafted courses, and simpler traditions like eating miso soup.

Many people in Japan consume miso soup at least once a day, and many others eat it almost as often. The origins of this healthy, and easy to make soup can be traced back to ancient times. It was a daily meal for the samurais during the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

Traditional miso soup is made with “ichiban dashi” or the first broth, which is made with seaweed and fish (they have a lot of ocean around the island remember!) After you make an ichiban dashi, you can add other things to it to make other kinds of soup. Miso soup is made by adding miso paste, a dried seaweed called kombu, tofu cubes, and green onions to the ichiban dashi. We can make a soup that is really similar with a few easy ingredients, and if you’re lucky you might find a market with those special Japanese ingredients near you.

Try it out and share the story of this everyday soup with your family.

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