(MŌSŌ BAMBOO SHOOT SOUP)
Moso jiru, a popular springtime soup among locals, is made from freshly harvested moso bamboo shoots and sake lees. The combination of the flavour of sake lees and crunchy texture of bamboo shoots reminds you of home. You can't say that you've experienced spring in Tsuruoka without trying this dish!
HOW TO MAKE:
Using a knife, carefully peel away the tough outer layers of the bamboo shoot and wash it with water to get rid of dirt. Cut the hard bottom portion of the bamboo shoot into 1cm slices, and the soft parts into 3-5cm chunks.
Remove excess oil from the deep-fried tofu using paper towels and cut into 2cm triangles. Remove stem ends of shiitake mushrooms and cut into 3-5cm pieces.
In a small bowl, dissolve sake lees and miso with some water.
Into a medium sized pot, place moso bamboo shoots and pour in enough water such that all ingredients are submerged. Add in the brown sugar and bring to boil before simmering on medium heat for about 20 - 30 minutes.
Add in deep-fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms and continue to simmer on low until the bamboo shoot is tender.
Add in the dissolved sake lees and miso and lower the heat to low. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and serve hot.
The fresher the bamboo shoot, the more delicious it is
By using brown sugar, it removes the astringency of the bamboo shoot and helps to bring out the sweetness of the bamboo shoot.
After ladling a bowl of the soup, add a pinch of mountain pepper before serving to increase the aroma of the dish.
The bamboo shoot will develop some acrid taste after being dug up. It is recommended to parboil the bamboo shoot using the starchy water from washing rice, or chili pepper or camelia leaves to remove the acrid taste.
1.5kg moso bamboo shoot
2 pieces deep-fried tofu
6 pieces shiitake mushrooms
140g sake lees
1 teaspoon brown sugar