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Friday, October 30, 2009

Tonjiru (Pork and Vegetables Miso Soup)

Tonjiru or butajiru is a soup made with pork and miso, but its taste is very different from the traditional miso soup. This is the only dish I remember I liked when I was a baby. I mean it, I was a baby. My mom would serve it in a shallow plastic dish with some short grain rice, and I was delighted.

My version has some variations from the original dish. I added ginger and sesame oil instead of vegetable oil. I do not use konnyaku just because it’s a little hard to find and not everyone likes it. I am using potato instead of baby yam because of the same reason. However, I love baby yam! For Brazilians that are interested, the baby yam is called “inhame” in Brazil. Today I also added some left over tofu.

Mi’s Tonjiru (Pork, Vegetables and Miso Soup)
4 Servings

1 tsp sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 lb lean pork, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 gobo (burdock root), peeled and shaved into very thin slices
(I use the vegetable peeler to shave them)
1 medium potato (or 5 baby yams), peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into thin quarter-rounds
1/4 daikon radish, peeled and cut into thin and small rectangles
4 cup dashi soup stock (see miso soup recipe)
2 - 3 tbsp white miso
2 green onion springs, thinly sliced
Seven-spice chili mix (optional)

Soak gobo strips in water for 5 minutes in plenty of water and drain.
Heat sesame oil in a stock pot and quickly saute pork and ginger over high heat. Add potato, carrot, gobo, daikon radish to the pot and stir fry for about 1 minute. Add the dashi soup stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, skim off any foam that rise to the surface, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Dissolve miso in the soup and add chopped green onions. Remove from heat just before it starts boiling. Serve immediately.

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