I’m not the one to make sushi at home. I’m quite creative and frugal when it comes to food, but sushi – we go out for, especially in Vancouver, the best American made sushi I ever had are here.
Miso soup, I want to talk to you about making an easy miso soup with meatballs. It is so damn ridiculously simple recipe and has about 10 shades of flavour. And to make it clear – we are talking about the miso soup without dashi or fish sauce, and other ethnic store ingredients. I found all of my ingredients at a regular grocery store – the Real Canadian Superstore.
The beauty of this miso soup recipe is that it is a great base for making it your own, working with what you have. For example, using fresh dill instead of green onions, because that is what Ukrainians always have on hand. I used to have an Italian neighbour-friend and we always texted each other asking for a knob of ginger and a ramekin of ketchup. She moved and now I make dill miso soup.
To make the meatballs, I used venison. It was a 7lb chunk of meat with a bone in, and I managed to split it into 3 meals: miso soup, slow cooker yellow curry (test) and borscht I am making today. You can use lean ground beef, buffalo, chicken or turkey.
To bind the meatballs together I used leftover cooked quinoa that Alex cooked a few days before. I always end up being the one deciding the destiny of fridge’s leftovers. I like my fridge clean and organized, just like my life, and having a bazillion of odds and ends makes me unhappy. Plus I do not like to waste food.
So here, quinoa went into an easy miso soup with meatballs. You can also use cooked brown rice or traditional option – breadcrumbs.
Then I fried meatballs in toasted sesame oil to add another shade of flavour and to keep the soup authentic. You can buy toasted (!) sesame oil in any grocery store or online. Just make sure it is toasted because it is more fragrant and flavourful.
And here is the “star of the show” – miso paste which makes miso soup a miso soup. That’s it – just a jar of fermented soy beans with brown rice and salt. It is very easy to find nowadays organic (look in a fridge section) and costs around $4-5 for a jar that lasts a while. It is salty and delicious on its own, I like to slowly lick it off the spoon. Weird or not, it is so good!
Because miso is full of probiotics that are live bacteria, it is best not to cook it at all. Add miso to soup at the every end, first diluting a small amount of soup broth with miso paste in a bowl. This ensures even distribution of miso paste, otherwise you will end up with lumps here and there, and lacking flavour soup.
And last but not least – make this miso soup your own, that is why it’s called “easy miso soup”. I added frozen peas, whisked in 2 eggs (kinda like hot and sour soup) and added cut up nori sheets (the ones sushi are rolled in). You can add diced tofu, frozen corn, potatoes, green onions – you name it. I also dumped leftover quinoa.
It was super delicious!!! So, so, so good. Imagine chicken noodle soup but with meatballs and a lot of vegetables. We ate this huge pot over 3 meals, kids loved it, nobody complained about “anything weird swimming”. I love making soups because with our busy schedule, soup makes healthy eating possible. Just pull out a pot from the fridge and reheat.
- 2.5 lbs ground lean beef, bison, turkey or chicken
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, brown rice or whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, for frying
- 2” piece ginger, grated
- 12 cups cold water
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice or pasta
- 3 cups green peas, frozen*
- 2 eggs*
- 5 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, add all Meatballs ingredients (except sesame oil) and mix thoroughly with your hands. Preheat large dutch oven or stockpot on medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of sesame oil. Form golf size meatballs and slowly add them to the pot, frying in 2 batches and turning when golden crust forms. Transfer meatballs to a bowl and repeat with remaining oil and meat (I got about 36 meatballs).
- When last batch of meatballs is browned, do no take them out, but rather add ginger and cook it with meatballs while gently stirring for 30 seconds. Add water, bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add quinoa and peas. Turn off heat and scoop about 1 cup of soup liquid into a bowl, add miso paste and mix with a spoon. Add miso mixture back to the soup. Using the same bowl, whisk eggs and add to the pot while stirring. Add sesame oil, green onions and season to taste if you wish.
*Optional or can be substituted with any other veggies you like.