Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Light Detox

After weeks of balls, 21sts, housewarmings and good times, I feel as though I've been steadily adding onto my winter bulk with my overindulgence of delicious, yet not figure flattering foods. What I need now whilst feeling bloated and overindulgent is a light soup broth that is easy to make, yet nutritional enough to make a meal out of it. I yearn for the days of living at home, where my detox diet would be substituting my dinner meal every day with a large platter of steamed vegetables, steamed tofu topped with soy sauce, a piece of fish and to finish off, a plate of assorted fruits. More often than not, there was also a large steaming bowl of soup broth left to boil on the stove for hours, slaved over lovingly by my grandma as she added corn on the cob, pieces of tender pork, pork bones that gave the soup such rich flavours and many other ingredients with high medicinal and nutritional value. I never quite knew what were in those soups, but I did know that they were light, yet filling and definitely good for me.

These days, I wouldn't dream of going to such lengths to produce a good bowl of soup. An easy alternative I've come up with is miso soup. I never used to be a big fan of miso soup, especially the complimentary soup that comes with bento boxes at Japanese restaurants. However, after buying a packet of miso, I figured I should probably do something with it. Because I often find miso soup too salty, I've remedied this by adding more water to the soup broth as I make it. I then add whatever I can find into the soup, depending on what I feel like - instant buckwheat ramen, vegetarian dumplings from Chinatown, wakame (Japanese seaweed), other veggies, slices of silken tofu. It makes for a warm, light, yet filling winter meal.

Miso Soup
2 tbs miso
2 1/2 cups boiling water
frozen vegetarian dumplings
silken tofu, cubed

1) Pour boiling water into a saucepan.
2) Add spoonfuls of miso into the water and allow to dissolve slowly. Add or omit water depending on personal preference for saltiness levels (typically, the packet advises 1 tbs of miso to 1 cup boiling water).
3) Once the soup is prepared, add other ingredients and let boil for several minutes.
4) Serve hot.


Truffle said...

I'm feeling exactly the same way so was brilliant reading this post. Your Grandmother's soup sounds wonderful.

ilingc said...

Your grandma's soup sounds lovely Mel. My mum used to do the same too with the corn and pork bones.

Reading your post has made me yearn for the days when I used to rent and had a fuss-free housemate. :)

I was in charge of the cooking and often make wonton soups or even just miso soup like yours for dinner. As you said, it's light, hearty and refreshing change to a heavy meal.

Nowadays I'm free loading LOL. The boy's fussy and his mum is home. So yeah.. I eat what she cooks, except when she's lazy. Then she eats what I cook. :D

Mel. said...

Hi truffle - I think that's the same feeling with every grandmother's soup/stew/pudding/signature dish. And no matter how hard I try, it's never possible to replicate the feeling you get as a child eating the stuff. At least it gives us scope to come up with something new :)

ilingc - I think it's a very Asian thing! Having fuss-free housemates sounds wonderful. I love my housies, but the overload of meat in the house is a bit much sometimes.. plus now I'm dubbed the one with the "weird food" (given that I eat things like tofu, miso soup, kimchi, grass jelly, etc.) Oh, and having someone's mum cooking for you is THE BEST.