For this soup, Sylvan Mishima Brackett makes tofu from fresh soy milk and shaves his own bonito (flakes of smoked, dried skipjack tuna) from a block of dried Japanese tuna for the dashi (broth). The secret to this quick version—prepared with store-bought ingredients—is to buy the best-quality bonito you can find. Look for it at Japanese markets.
More Japanese Recipes
One 2-inch piece of kombu (seaweed)
4 1/2 cups cold water
2 cups bonito shavings (1 ounce)
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
6 ounces silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pound lump crabmeat or the meat from 1 steamed Dungeness crab, picked
4 mitsuba or celery leaves
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, cover the kombu with the water and let stand for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring the water to a simmer over moderate heat and remove the kombu before it boils. Add the bonito and simmer for 1 minute. Cover the saucepan, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the dashi through cheesecloth into another saucepan and add the soy sauce and mirin.
Arrange the tofu cubes and crabmeat in ovenproof bowls and warm in the oven for about 3 minutes. Bring the dashi to a simmer. Pour the hot dashi into the bowls, garnish with the mitsuba or celery leaves and serve right away.
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