Homemade Japanese Miso Soup

I love Japanese food, and I’ve always wanted to make my own Miso Soup, so I finally got a package of White Miso Paste from my market, and found some bonito flakes and wakame from the Asian grocery store. They are tricky to find (well, for me at least!) but, I think it’s necessary for a miso soup. This simple homemade soup smells and tastes like miso soup when you go out to have a bowl!

Ingredients (makes 2 big bowls or 4 little bowls):
3 cup of water
3 tbsp bonito flakes
1 heaping tbsp white miso paste
1 tbps wakame
tofu cubes

To begin any soup – start with boiling some water.

When the water has come to a boil, put some bonito flakes into the water and reduce the heat, and let it steep for about 5 minutes.

Once that has steeped, you’re ready to put in the miso paste. Take a heaping tablespoon (or just 2 tablespoons) and put it into a bowl. Take some of the “soup in progress” into the bowl and mix to dissolve the miso paste so you get a dissolved and thinner consistency. Once you’ve achieved this, you’re ready to pour the miso solution into the soup. Bring the soup back up to a boil at this time, and let it boil for another 3 to 5 minutes.

By now, taste your soup to see if it needs additional salt. Add some if it needs more. To finish the soup, add the wakame flakes, and they will rehydrate and add lots of flavour into the miso soup. Once the wakame has rehydrate, you’re ready to serve and enjoy!

I also like to add some udon noodles to my miso soup, and it becomes and excellent and healthy lunch! Just boil some instant udon in the miso soup. Once the udon noodles are ready, you’re ready to eat too! If you want, you can top it off with sesame seeds, scallions or anything you like – really!

Ajisai Japanese Cuisine

So, this one afternoon, we were in the Northwest – just out and about, until we realized that we haven’t had lunch yet. We wanted some sushi, and didn’t really feel like having the ones from T&T, so we stumbled upon Ajisai Sushi hidden in a commercial building, around a lot of residential housing. We actually needed our GPS to find the location, as it was off the main roads.

This place was really nice, clean, large, open and bright (from both lighting and windows) and what I love most about it is the open concept. The decorations was warm and elegant, and it’s truly a place for the local businesses to grab a quick sushi lunch.

Aijsai Japanese Restaurant

Ajisai does offer great lunch menu – both for take out and eat in! We got to eat in and started off with a few goodies. We got our Plain Miso Soup which was as it’s called “plain” miso soup. It wasn’t anything spectacular about it – yet there was nothing wrong with it! I just like starting with miso soup and this did the trick!

Aijsai - Miso Soup

Recently, I’ve started to enjoy trying Spicy Agedashi Tofu which basically is deep fried Tofu with spicy sauce – usually the sauce they use on spicy sushi/rolls. This one was deep fried really nicely – with a crispy outside, hot and soft tofu on the inside. I think the batter could have used a little seasoning though – that would enhance the dish to a million levels, even if it was just salt. I did dip my agedashi into my soy sauce, and it didn’t do the trick as it softened the deep fried crispiness.

Aijsai - Spicy Agedashi Tofu

My favourite starter of the day was definitely the Chicken Karaage which means deep fried marinated chicken, and this was also deep fried to perfection like the agedashi. The sauce tasted great, and I think it’s almost like a honey mayonnaise – or something to that nature. I would highly recommend the chicken karaage if you’re looking for a great starter!

Aijsai - Chicken Karaage

Now, after our starters and appetizers, we ordered our lunch specials – which are great set lunch combos which come in a set of stuff. The first one we had was Assorted Sushi Tuna, Salmon, Ebi, Tamago, Snapper & California Maki. The sushi wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t anything special to it. At least it didn’t taste bad, even though I think the texture was a little off. Perhaps it was still a little frozen or something, but it definitely felt different when chewing on the fish. The ebi sushi was really nicely done, and was probably my favourite on the plate. I normally really like tamago (egg sushi), but I wasn’t really turned on by this one as it had a layer of gray in the egg. I didn’t eat this piece and I gave it to my husband to try. He said it tasted fine, but again, nothing special.

Aijsai - Assorted Sushi Lunch

Following that, we also ordered the Sashimi Lunch which came with a selection of sashimi, a bowl of white rice, and a few pieces of honey glazed yams. The sashimi like the sushi, they tasted alright with an odd texture. The yams was probably my favourite part of this set lunch, and that’s pretty sad. But, the tuna and salmon wasn’t a far second – then the rest of the sashimi with the strange texture.

Aijsai - Sashimi Lunch

I really like the convenience of having a set lunch, and it would really come handy if I worked or lived around there. There are lots of options on the menu whether or not you choose to eat from the set lunch menus. I am not sure if they have set dinner menu as well, but the idea is wonderful and convenient. This restaurant seems to me like the majority of their business is weekday lunch take-away, which is nice! I may be back for a dinner to see the difference too – if I’m in the area! I guess there are a lot of other sushi places I’d try too, so I may not be returning as I can’t decided whether I enjoyed Ajisai or not.

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Ajisai Japanese Cuisine

750 1110 Panatella Blvd. NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 457-3802