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Miso soup (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2012)

Miso soup with crispy age tofu, nappa cabbage and green onions

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Do not reheat the miso soup after the miso has been added; the flavor diminishes with reheating. Miso paste is generally available in the Asian sections of well-stocked supermarkets, as well as at Asian markets; age tofu (deep-fried tofu) is available at Japanese markets.

1 quart dashi

3 to 4 tablespoons miso paste (red or white or koji miso paste), or to taste

2 age tofu

1 to 2 leaves nappa cabbage, sliced crosswise into ½-inch thick strips, or any greens of your choice.

2 green onions, sliced thinly to garnish

1. In a toaster or using a dry frying pan, lightly toast the age tofu until it's crispy and slightly toasted but not dry. Slice crosswise into one-half-inch pieces.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring dashi to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in the nappa cabbage and continue to cook for a couple of minutes to wilt the cabbage.

3. Add the miso to the dashi, stirring to blend in until the miso is dissolved. (The miso can be dissolved with a little dashi in a separate bowl before adding it into the dashi.)

4. Just before serving, top the soup with the sliced crisp tofu, and garnish with sliced green onion.

Each serving: 50 calories; 2 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 556 mg sodium.