There's something supremely comforting about serving a steaming hot bowl of shiitake mushroom soup, especially if it's winter, or if you need a pick-me-up after a long day at the office!
Classic Japanese mushroom soup recipes inspire our shiitake mushroom soup; that means that it's a healthy, warming broth that's full of delightful ingredients. You need both shiitake and enoki for this mushroom broth soup, alongside tofu, soy sauce, miso paste, and vermicelli noodles. The secret ingredients, though? That's a dash of Japanese mirin and a tablespoon of sake!
Prepare your tofu press and ready your ingredients; here's how to cook fresh shiitake mushroom soup from scratch!
Shittake mushroom soup recipe FAQs
Once your mushrooms are sliced, preparing Japanese soup with tofu cubes isn't such a difficult task, and it won't take too long to simmer on the stovetop.
If this is your first time prepairing a shiitake or enoki mushroom soup recipe, however, then keep reading for our useful tips and pointers in the following FAQ section of the recipe.
How to prepare mushrooms for soup?
Before preparing your Japanese soup, you need to prepare your mushrooms!
Mushrooms need to be cleaned before being cooked, but you don't have to run them under running water to do this. In fact, washing mushrooms for too long under running water will cause them to swell and absorb the extra liquid. This extra absorption means that you'll lose more of the mushroom flavour when you add them to the broth, so be sparing if you rinse them.
A better way to clean the mushrooms is to simply wipe them down with a damp cloth, removing any visible dirt before you chop them up. Once chopped, add them to the broth and allow the mushrooms to cook (you don't need to pre-cook them at all).
How to cook shiitake mushrooms in soup?
Cooking shiitake mushrooms can be slightly different from cooking other types of mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have a large, rounded cap and short stems; we are only interested in the large mushroom cap.
The soft cap is full of nutrients and is the easiest part of the mushroom to cook with, as it boils quickly in the soup broth. The stems, however, can be incredibly tough, so they aren't suited for the soup. To prepare the shiitake mushrooms, we simply chop off the tough stem, then slice the cap. Discard the stems (or save them for another dish), and only place the sliced mushrooms caps into the soup.
How to cook enoki mushrooms?
This is an enoki mushroom recipe too, and enoki mushrooms are prepared differently than the shiitake mushrooms!
Enoki mushrooms are tall and thin, with incredibly small caps at the end of the long stems. It's the stems that we are primarily interested in, although the cap can remain too. Rather than slicing the stems off (which would lose most of the mushroom), we only slice off a small portion off the end of the stem. This is the toughest part.
Slice the remainder of the mushroom in half before placing both halves in the soup. Like the shiitake mushrooms, the enoki mushrooms will boil well in the broth and don't need any pre-cooking.
What tofu should I use for shiitake mushroom soup?
While mushrooms are the primary ingredient for this Japanese broth, no noodle soup is ever complete without tofu cubes. Tofu cubes allow you to add extra protein into the broth, without changing the flavor, which is perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets!
There are several types of tofu to consider, however. For this recipe, we'd recommend selecting a firm or extra firm tofu. This style of tofu will keep its shape better in the broth, as opposed to soft or silken tofu, which can crumble.
Before adding your tofu to the broth, it's important that you press out any excess liquid. Do this before cutting the block into cubes. The easiest way to remove the excess liquid is by using a tofu press. If you don't have a dedicated tofu press, however, you can use a chopping board and paper towels, but it won't be quite so effective at removing the moisture!
That's it for our shiitake mushroom soup recipe
The list of ingredients might seem long when you first start learning how to prepare shiitake mushrooms for a fresh Japanese soup, but you'll quickly realize that actually, it's quite a simple recipe to put together!
Once your mushrooms and tofu are prepared, all you really have to do is throw everything in a large pot and let the broth simmer away on the stovetop. Asian mushroom soup isn't such a challenge after all, and you'll quickly appreciate the warm, comforting flavours and tastes of this delightful dish.
Why not bookmark our shiitake mushroom soup recipe for your next Japanese-inspired dinner?