Cozy up with this bowl of piping hot miso soup with yuzu kosho. Yuzu kosho is a Japanese citrus pepper paste that gives a kick to Japanese dishes like this hearty pork belly miso soup with loads of vegetables. After drinking this delicious miso soup, you will be hooked on this combination of miso soup and yuzu kosho!
To make dashi: In a measuring cup (or a large pot), add 4 cups water and kombu and let it steep. You can do this process overnight or as soon as you start preparing. This is kombu dashi. If you're using dashi powder or dashi packet, follow this tutorial, and use it at Step 12.
Cut the pork belly into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
Cut the leek in half lengthwise, and then cut the halves into 1-inch pieces widthwise. Rinse under cold water to make sure there is no dirt inside the pieces.
Cut the cabbage leaves into small pieces.
Remove the stem of shiitake mushrooms and slice thinly.
Cut the carrot in half lengthwise, and slice thinly. Cut the green onions thinly.
Transfer the kombu dashi into a pot (if you didn’t use a pot at Step 2). Slowly bring the kombu dashi to a boil over medium low heat. When the water is almost boiling, remove the kombu to avoid sliminess. If you are vegan/vegetarian, skip next two steps (Step 9 and Step 10).
Add 3 cups katsuobushi and cook for 15 seconds. Then turn off the heat and let the katsuobushi steep in the pot for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate large pot (or donabe), heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the pork belly and stir to cook.
Once the pork belly is 80% cooked through, add 1 Tbsp sake and stir to combine. Then add chopped leeks.
Once leeks are wilted, add the rest of the vegetables and mushrooms. Stir to coat with the oil. Then using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the dashi into the pot.
Bring the soup mixture to a boil, skimming the foam and scum on the surface while cooking. Turn off the heat and add 2 Tbsp miso first, and then gradually add in more as you taste the soup. Each miso brand and type of miso tastes differently and the sodium level varies, so you want to taste before adding more miso.
Add the tofu into the soup and turn on the heat to continue to simmer until tofu is nice and warm (tofu is edible chilled, so you don’t have to worry about “cooking” it). Just make sure not to let the miso soup boil. It should take not more than 3-4 minutes to warm the tofu, and the soup is now ready.
Before serving, scoop out a small portion of Yuzu Kosho from the jar and place it on a small plate. Grind 2 Tbsp sesame seeds and put in in a small bowl. Serve them alongside with the donabe or soup pot. After you ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, add a pinch of Yuzu Kosho, sprinkle sesame seeds, stir in and enjoy!
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.