Low-fat soup options to boost your health as the weather cools
Think oriental for the perfect winter lunchtime soup: low-fat, simple to make, filling and health-giving.
Don't be worried by the list of ingredients: all are easily available at oriental stores; substitute your own choice of vegetables and noodles if it makes it easier. Try The Japan Centre - they deliver too so you can order oriental store cupboard basics online.
Soba noodle soup is popular in Japan with anyone who wants to lose weight because it is both filling and cleansing. Soba noodles are low in fat and kinder on the digestive system because they are made of buckwheat rather than egg.
Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans introduced to Japan by monks in the 7th century. Fat-free and a great source of protein, miso soup is healthy and nutritious. It was popular during the samurai era, when it was commonly eaten at breakfast and credited with giving samurai warriors the edge for victory.
The Korean version of miso soup, below, adds chilli, ginger and other spices for extra nutritional value: chilli is rich in flu-fighting vitamin C and ginger is fantastic for circulation.
Chili and other foods that can help burn fat
1. Add the water, soy sauce, dashi stock and mirin into a sauce pan and bring to boil to create the broth.
2. Boil the soba noodles in hot water for approximately 5 minutes or according to the manufacturer's instructions.
3. Once the noodles have cooked, drain well and add to a bowl.
4. You can now add the hot soup to your soba noodles as well as the other ingredients such as smoked mackerel or kanikama (crab meat) on the top.
5. Finally, garnish the dish with shredded spring onion or chives and add some Shichimi Togarashi to taste if you like it spicy.
1. First, cut the tofu and vegetables. If preparing miso soup for two people, half a carrot, a small potato and half an onion cut into slices should be enough. For the tofu, cut into small cubes.
2. You can now prepare the dashi soup stock by mixing 500ml of water and the dashi in a saucepan and allow it to boil. Add the vegetables to the dashi and leave them to cook on a moderate heat.
3. Meanwhile, stir miso paste in a small amount of water until it is well dissolved. Add the cubes of tofu, the dissolved miso and finally the gochujang Korean chilli paste to the dashi and vegetables and mix well. Be very careful that the soup doesn't boil (see below). Keep on moderate heat and remove the saucepan a few minutes before boiling.
4. Add the sesame oil and the shichimi togarashi if you wish to add a fantastic aroma. Enjoy it with a cold Japanese beer or a glass of Japanese tea if you need to refresh your mouth from the hot chili.
Why not try...Low-calorie comfort food recipes for the winter
If you want to use Japanese vegetables, try slices of daikon, horseradish, satoimo, taro potato, wakame seaweed and abura-age fried tofu pieces.
Miso is a 'live' product with friendly bacteria so boiling the soup kills these and removes much of the health benefits.
Posted: 29/06/2012 at 15:16
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