Kombu, a dried dark seaweed, is available in Asian specialty markets. If you can't find it, add 1/4 teaspoon salt instead. This stew is good served over hot cooked rice.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 pounds extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups water
1 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled daikon radish
1 cup (1-inch-thick) slices parsnip
1 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled rutabaga
1 cup (1-inch-thick) slices carrot
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/3 ounce)
1 (3-inch square) piece kombu seaweed
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
How to Make It
Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 cups onion, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tofu; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
Add 6 cups water, daikon, and next 7 ingredients (daikon through kombu); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes.
Combine 6 tablespoons water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Stir cornstarch mixture into stew; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Discard kombu. Stir in sesame oil; sprinkle with green onions.
Used 2/3 as much liquid and it was STOCK. I can't imagine using water--how tasteless!
Hate parsnips so left them out and used fresh shitakes instead of dried and added garlic to the onion mixture. Also browned the tofu separately and added to the soup at the very end of cooking (after vegetables were soft) so as to keep a crispy texture--sort of like crutons. So a good basic recipe that needs some tweaking.
Super healthy! Definitely a cold-weather soup that feels like it can fend off any winter ills. The broth is only lightly flavorful - maybe some extra salt on top of the kombu anyway? Loved the root veggies, especially the rutabaga. The tofu was a bit limp; next time I would saute in a skillet until very crisp on all sides, and stir into the soup last minute.
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