|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This Japanese mushroom (kinoko) and egg (tamago) soup is inspired by the well-known Chinese egg flower soup that is often found on the menus of Chinese restaurants.
While there are many types of soups that accompany a Japanese meal, the most common being miso soup, other popular soups that are enjoyed are dashi or seafood based soups, as well as chicken broth or vegetable consomme based soups. Most soups are a thin consistency, or they are thickened with a cornstarch roux, such as the soup in this recipe.
Mushroom, known as "kinoko," in Japanese, and egg, or "tamago", soup is a wonderful balance of tender vegetables and egg in a lightly flavored broth.
- 1/2 pack of shimeji mushrooms (also called beech mushrooms or buna shimeji; 1 pack is approximately 3.5 ounces)
- 3 fresh shiitake mushrooms (may be substituted with dry shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted)
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup spinach leaves (chopped into strips; if long stems are attached OK to use)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups chicken stock (this may be substituted with Japanese dashi broth)
- Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons chicken base (for added flavor)
- 1 egg
- 1 small piece ginger (about 2 teaspoons chopped) to taste
- salt, to taste
- Optional: white pepper
- 1 tablespoons potato starch (corn starch may be substituted)
- 1 tablespoons water
- Optional: 1/4 cup soft tofu, cubed
Because the shimeji mushroom is packaged in larger clumps, it's important to break them apart with your hands into individual mushrooms gently.
Slice the shiitake mushrooms into thin pieces. If you are using dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstitute them in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you are in a hurry, dried mushrooms may be reconstituted in hot water in about 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from the reconstituted shiitake before slicing them.
Slice carrots into small rounds.
Chop spinach leaves into strips.
In a small pan, heat olive oil and add sliced mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until just wilted and remove from pan.
Next, saute carrots in the pan, adding more olive oil if necessary. Cook until carrots are a bright orange and just slightly cooked through. Remove from pan.
In a medium stock pot add chicken stock and if you prefer, chicken base (optional).
Add mushrooms and carrots into the pot and allow the soup to cook on medium heat until the carrots and mushrooms are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
In a small bowl, gently mix egg.
Add the mixed egg to the soup, gently stirring as the egg is added to create an "egg flower" (cooked egg pieces).
Add salt, to taste (optional).
Add chopped spinach.
In a separate small bowl, combine starch and water to make roux. Add this to the soup and stir continuously until the soup begins to thicken.
Add cubed soft tofu, if using. Be careful not to over stir the soup after the tofu is added as the soft tofu easily breaks apart, but it adds a wonderfully delicate texture to the soup if you opt to add this ingredient.
Add white pepper (optional)
Remove from heat and serve.