Yes, you can cook Japanese at home by simply using (more or less) everyday ingredients! Try out this Japanese mushroom soup then and also take a look at my homemade substitute for dashi!!
Do you know a little something of Japanese cuisine?
Then you definitely must be familiar with dashi, right. Dashi is a classic Japanese soup base, just like we have our stocks and broths. And that’s also where the similarities stop.
It is basically water in which seaweed, dried bonito flakes and dried mushrooms have poached and marinated. Once you strain the broth, the dashi comes out as a clear broth that has a very subtle flavor without tasting too fishy.
But dashi is not easy to find here in Spain where I am at the moment. Just because it is not an everyday ingredient here of course. If I was is Belgium, I would have no trouble finding dashi at my favorite Chinese supermarket.
So that’s why I had to come up with something else instead. Let me show you how to make a simple dashi substitute.
I’m not trying to copy that exact authentic dashi flavor here. But I still want to create an interesting stock that I can use in my Japanese mushroom soup below by simply using ingredients that are more easier to find around here.
And I have to say that I was pretty happy with the result in the end!
Give it a try as well!
So what are my alternatives for this Japanese mushroom soup then?
Well I used 3 things here: some nori seaweed, a few drops of fish sauce and also dried shiitake mushrooms.
I know what you are thinking.
Those are not everyday ingredients. And you are right, I don’t always have those 3 ingredients in my cupboard of course. And then I’m especially talking about the dried shiitake in that case. But if you have a couple of sheets of nori seaweed and a bottle of fish sauce, then that’s also fine to get to work with.
Try it: you will see it is delicious!
What fresh mushrooms should you use?
I happened to find these very exotic looking shimeji mushrooms in my local supermarket and I thought that they would be just great for this subtle Japanese mushroom soup.
Honestly, I think that just any type of mushroom would be perfect here in this soup. Initially I was going to use oyster mushrooms, up until the minute that I found those lovely looking shimeji mushrooms.
If you can’t find any more exotic mushrooms around where you live, then the classic white button mushrooms would also be just perfect for this Japanese mushroom soup because those are very easy to find.
However I reckon that chanterelle mushrooms, shiitake, portobello, eryngii and even sliced porcini mushrooms would taste great in this Japanese mushroom soup. The only thing that I would do different in case you are using another type of mushrooms, is to cook them a little longer. Just because those shimeji mushrooms are way thinner of course.
Besides, eating raw or undercooked mushrooms might sometimes give you stomach ache afterwards. Especially with mushrooms such as those chanterelles that I mentioned.
Japanese Mushroom Soup
Do you love soups like this Japanese mushroom soup with that little extra touch?
Then also check out my Japanese style prawn ramen soup as well!
Or how about my delicious miso and soba noodle soup with smoked salmon sushi? I put that one together in no time with a couple of leftover ingredients really. It was more like a last minute lunch idea but the result is absolutely stunning!
Japanese Mushroom Soup Recipe
- 2,5 oz shimeji or white mushrooms (70 g)
- 1 dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
- 2 cups water (480 ml)
- 2 sheets nori seaweed
- 1 small garlic clove peeled
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- a handful tofu diced
- 1 spring onion sliced finely
- 1 tsp light soy sauce or red miso
Pour the water in a large saucepan and place it over medium heat until simmering. Don’t let it boil fiercely. Once the water is warm, add the nori seaweed, the peeled garlic clove, dried shiitake (optional) and the fish sauce.
- Put a lid on the pan and let the ingredients simmer in the warm water for 5 minutes. Then take the pan off the heat and put it aside for another 10 minutes. Drain the flavored soup base and discard the cooked seaweed and the garlic clove.
- Place the soup base over medium heat again and add the mushrooms. If you are using white mushrooms, slice them up first.
- Cook them for a minute and then add the soy sauce (or red miso) and the diced tofu.
- Check the seasoning of the soup and add extra salt, soy sauce or miso to taste if necessary. Also add the sliced spring onion right in the end.
- Then scoop the Japanese mushrooms soup into large bowls and garnish with extra sliced spring onion. Serve this soup hot.