In Japanese, 湯 (read as yu) is refer to hot water and 汁 (read as shiru or jiru when combined with a noun) is refer to soup. Whereas, 湯 (read as tang) in Chinese refer to soup and 汁 (read as zhi) refer to juice or gravy. I got confused when I saw 湯 on a signboard for the first time in Japan, mistaken it as soup, it was actually signboard for hot spring/onsen!
As for this soup, it is not something you will find in a Japanese restaurant in the city or beyond Japan. This home-cooked village-style miso soup (田舍味增汁, read as inaka misojiru) is sometime served in small restaurants in rural areas in Kyoto. Not long ago we had it at a family-owned okonomiyaki restaurant near to home, it was served together with sobameshi. I like it hot with shichimi, very much.
- 5 baby yams / Taro Root
- 1 small onion
- Some dried wakame (optional)
- 1 litre water
- 1 tsp hon-dashi
- 2- 3 tbsp awase miso (混合味增/mixed miso)
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- Peel yam and cut into chunks, and cut onion in into wedges.
- Bring water to a boil, hon-dashi, yam and onion. Turn the heat down and simmer until yam is softened.
- Put miso paste in a bowl, dissolve with some hot soup then add into the pot.
- Add sugar and wakame, stir a few seconds and turn the heat off.
- Serve warm. If desired, some chopped spring onion and shichimi can be sprinkled over the top.
This recipe is featured in Y3K Recipes issue no. 71, together with three other miso recipes.