Book Review · Tuttle Publishing

Book Review: Japanese Soups

Hello! I’m excited to share about the book Japanese Soups , released today (from Tuttle Publishing). I’ve been working my way through an early copy of this book so I’ve been quite excited to share about it with you.

I really, really enjoy soups. I could say soups are my favorite type of food to eat. I wanted to share that I’ve never made Japanese soups before (so I had a lot of fun adventures, exploring this book).

Contents: I wanted to share photos of ALL of the recipes and instructions included in this book. This little book covers a lot!

Making Dashi stock was a new concept to me. I love the approach in this cookbook to get a lot of flavor with a small amount of ingredients and in a short amount of time.

I have an International Market in my area so I wanted to search locally for a few ingredients that I didn’t have on hand.

The following was the Kombu that I purchased to make the Dashi stock for this cookbook. This package of Kombu was $1.99 (and will make a lot of soups).

I had a large, plastic lidded container on hand. After opening the Kombu, I kept the bag sealed inside this lidded container:

This book gives instructions for how to make Dashi stock. As I had never made Dashi before, I wanted to read a bit more about this process and found the following link helpful as well. I also enjoyed this link, sharing how you can use the kelp (after making the Dashi stock) for additional recipes as well:

How To Make Kombu Dashi (Vegetarian/Vegan) (Video) 昆布だし

Going forward, I’d like to make larger quantities of Dashi stock at a time and keep extra stock in the refrigerator. To strain the foam in the Dashi stock, I used a small mesh strainer (that we use for loose leaf tea). You could use any mesh strainer or even cheesecloth for this step.

The book shares 5 benefits of Japanese Soups, which I thought was really fun to read:

The book has a lot of formulas to make soups (which are really easy to follow). Lots of ingredients are shared that you can mix and match for different flavors or use just what you have on hand.

Cooking with Miso was a new ingredient for me. I LOVE the flavor that is brings. Technically the Miso that I found at my International Market contains gluten (which was a small negative for me, being gluten-free). The book shares about the different Miso bases that you can try, so I want to look around more at my grocery source for more Miso base options. The gluten challenge is also one I watch for with soy sauces.

The Glossary covers ingredients included in the recipes (with photos and further details). This is quite helpful if these ingredients are new to you and you want to explore your own International Market:

There is a section on utilizing seasonal vegetables in your soups. I love this inclusion, as Spring is just around the corner:

Umami is touched on a lot in this book and I loved learning more about it!

The concept of quick, flavorful soup recipes was quite intriguing to me.

I wanted to share, I made the following recipes in this cookbook (prior to this review). I plan to make more recipes from this book as well.

  • Tomato Soup with Chicken Meatballs
  • Sesame Miso Soup with Beef and Watercress
  • Japanese Onion Soup with Mochi Rice Cakes

My FAVORITE recipe was the Japanese Onion Soup with Mochi Rice Cakes. I got so excited about it because it’s a gluten-free option for a French Onion soup. I’ll share the recipe below:

For the Mochi, I found the following option at my local International Market. It’s a slightly different form then the Mochi block recommended in the book but it worked just fine in the recipe. I love that the Mochi acts as a dumpling in the soup. I did not follow the recipe with baking the Mochi that I used (as it was frozen and thawed after being added to the soup).

I was REALLY intrigued with the Late Night Soup chapter! I have the Carrot Ginger soup planned to make soon from this section. I thought it was so neat to offer low calorie, high flavor soup recipes to could enjoy late at night.

The following are the main ingredients that I used for this recipe (also including the Kombu, mentioned earlier). I didn’t have Sake on hand but I read that you can sub Rice Vinegar for Sake. White pepper wasn’t listed in the book but I didn’t have Sansho pepper available to me (and I love White Pepper with Miso).

A unique aspect of this book is that the recipe quantities serve 2. I can’t tell you how many friends and family have shared with me that they’ve been looking for smaller quantity recipes that serve 1 or 2. In my case, I increased the broth and ingredient quantities to serve more than 2 but I wanted to share this unique feature. This serving size was actually nice when I was started making my first recipe in this cookbook. It was helpful to first start out small, tasting the recipes to see what flavors were my family’s favorites.

I highly recommend Japanese Soups! I want to share copies of this book as gifts this year (along with a package of Kombu, to make it a little Japanese Soup kit).

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Japanese Soups

  1. My mouth is watering! We are prepping for a series of blizzards this weekend into next week and this book would be perfect to keep me busy. Thanks for the mouth watering review.

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    1. Oh I love it!! What interesting timing with the blizzards!! Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy it! I’m planning to make the Carrot-Ginger, Egg Flower Soup with Napa Cabbage, and Egg Topped Cabbage Soups this week.

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