Vegetarian Sizzling Rice Soup
Yesterday, I promised that I was going to post a recipe about how to make sizzling rice soup. So I reserved 1 cup of parched rice from the Indian puffed rice snack we made yesterday, called chudwa in Urdu.
My favorite part of making sizzling soup is the sound of the freshly fried puffed rice in contact with the broth. It always amazes the kids. My poor Lulu's caught a bad cold so the warm broth really helped soothe his throat. And he's a big kid, so the sizzling amazes him too!
I added water-chestnuts for crunch and miso and tofu for protein. The result is a very healthy and flavorful soup that you can enjoy as a starter or as a full meal.
Yields: 102 quarts water
5 tablespoons miso paste
3/4 tablespoon salt, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar, to taste
1 whole daikon
1 (16-ounce package) silken tofu
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups baby bok choy, quartered, lengthwise
1 (8-ounce) can water-chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 (7-ounce) package enoki mushrooms
1 cup parched rice (see tips)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
Drain the liquid from the package of the tofu. Slice the tofu in two, horizontally. Gently cut the tofu into 1/2-inch square cubes. Silken tofu is very delicate and easily breakable, so be very cautious and gentle. Set aside.
Trim the stem of the daikon and peel it. Place the daikon in a large pot. Fill the pot with 2 quarts of water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Add the miso paste. Season with salt, then add the sugar. The amount of salt and sugar respectively varies with the saltiness of the miso paste and the sweetness of the daikon. Add the water-chestnuts. Cook for about 30 minutes. Add the bok choy (the greens will slowly cook in the warm broth). Turn off the heat. Set aside until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the garlic. Cook it until it's slightly golden. Add the shitake mushrooms. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the broth. Add the enoki mushrooms and cubed tofu. Bring to a final boil then turn off the heat. Sprinkle some black pepper.
Ladle the soup into 10 bowls. Line them up.
In a deep small pan, add the remaining oil. As soon as the oil is hot and bubbly, put the parched rice into a strainer. Place the strainer in the oil and fry the rice over high heat. It'll become puffed rice instantly (about 3-5 seconds). Remove the strainer from the oil. Drain as much oil as possible. Immediately transfer the puffed rice to each bowl. It will sizzle .
Serve immediately. Bon appétit!
Daikon (củ cải trắng in Vietnamese) is an Asian turnip that looks like a large white carrot. I use this root a lot when making broth to add natural sweetness to it. Discard the root when the broth is ready. It's also delicious when it's pickled with carrots and is commonly used in Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches. They are yummy Vietnamese baguette sandwiches stuffed with pickled daikon and carrots, tofu or grilled meat and green sliced chiles.
Silken tofu can be found in any store now but I prefer the one from the Korean store. I find its texture to be creamier. Make sure you check for silken tofu and not firm on the package.
Enoki are very thin, long white mushrooms that are widely used in Asian cuisine. I used them for my Vietnamese crepes, banh xeo.
I buy the Laxmi brand puffed rice. You can find it in any Indian store. It's sold in 2-lb (32-oz) packages. It's called parched rice or thick poha. Add the puffed rice to the broth as soon as it is out of the frying oil. Serve immediately, otherwise the puffed rice will turn soggy.
Miso is a fermented soybean paste that brings an added salty flavor to a broth. I buy it at the Korean store; they carry all sorts of very good quality miso paste. Check the level of sodium (not too high) on the package.
Published By: on July 9, 2009.