The Return of Mitsuba


I decided to have a light dinner last night. I also remembered about mitsuba, a veggie I hadn’t bought in a year or two. I love it in miso soup. I found, what I thought was, a new type of potato – the oyaimo (親芋). It looks like it is actually a large satoimo that smaller potatoes grow around like children. Hence the name, which means parent potato.

On the menu
Boiled kabu (turnips) and greens dipped in yuzu kosho mentsuyu, miso soup with mitsuba and oyaimo, edamame tofu and rice topped with garlic sesame seeds.

Kenchin Udon

Kenchin is a type of miso soup that has a lot of root vegetables in it.  It is a great thick miso soup for winter.  I decided to add udon noodles to it and make a one pot meal.  You can eat it sans noodles with rice but I love udon noodles in soups.

Kenchin Udon

one serving of precooked udon per person
500mL of
dashi (fish stock) per person
1/4 carrot per person
3cm burdock root per person
daikon per person
5cm Devil’s tongue jelly (
30g shaved pork per person (I used ground pork this time)
1/2 taro root (
satoimo) per person
negi (like a leek) per person
white miso to taste (I used red miso because that’s all I had)

Peel, quarter and slice the carrots, daikon and taro root.  Slice the devil’s tongue jelly, burdock root and negi thinly.  Put the soup stock, all vegetables except negi and pork in the pot and bring to a boil.  If you use ground pork like I did, brown it first.  Turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables start to get tender.  Add the miso, negi, udon and devil’s tongue jelly.  Simmer for a couple of minutes and add the precooked udon.  The udon basically just needs to be reheated so you only need to cook if for a couple minutes. Serve.  Tastes good topped with shichimi (a Japanese pepper blend).

A tip on adding miso:

Put the miso into a ladle and partially immerse it in the soup.  Take cooking chopsticks and mix it with the soup in the ladle.  Replace the soup in the ladle frequently.  This prevents lumps.

Meatball Miso Soup

Despite the warm weather today, I had a craving for a thick miso soup.  I generally only make thick soups in winter but I went with the craving today.  I tried something a little different by cooking it in the slow cooker.  I usually make it on the stove but I have just started to be able to play with the slow cooker I bought in the middle of summer.


Meatball Miso Soup


IMG_0312200g ground pork-beef mix (more common than ground beef or pork in my local supermarket)

1/3 carrot – grated

1 bunch mitsuba (honeywort)

5cm negi (Welsh onion) – minced (any type of onion would work

1 egg

1-2 tablespoons miso (two for a simmered soup, one if you use the meatballs for something else)

1/2 cup panko (raw bread crumbs) or any other starch of choice

2 tablespoons cooking sake

salt and pepper to taste

Mix everytIMG_0314hing together in a bowl with your hands.  Form meatballs and place on tray.  Brown the meatballs in a frying pan.  If you are making a simmered soup you don’t necessarily need to cook them all the way through but the browning is necessary for flavor.  Add meatballs to the slow cooker or a soup pot.  Don’t discard drippings as they will be used to brown the onion for the soup.  This made twice the number of meatballs I needed so I froze the rest.

The Soup

2 small potatoes – chopped to the size of your choice

2/3 carrot – chopped to the size of your choice

10cm burdock root – sliced

1/2 onion – sliced thinly

1/2 cup barley (in Japan this will be in the rice section as something you can add to rice)

dashi (soup stock) to taste

miso to taste

Brown the onions in the meatball drippings.  Add the onions to the slow cooker or soup pot.  Use some water to wash the drippings out of the pan and add to slow cooker or soup pot.  Add the potatoes, carrot, burdock rood and barley.  Add enough water to just cover the top of the potatoes.  Add in the soup stock mix – I used about a tablespoon.  Don’t add the miso until the end.  Cook for two hours on high and turn down to low.  Add the miso after the soup has stopped bubbling.  You can eat right away or keep it on low for a while longer. The soup will be quite thick.