DASHI AtoZ 22:
Inakajiru – Japanese Soup Made With Vegetable Broth

Writer: Yumiko Ishimaru

Broth made with vegetables is used for traditional local dish not only in Japan but in many countries around the world.

“Fonds” is made by simmering beef, chicken and vegetable together, “Fumet De Poisson” is made from white fish and vegetables. And base of the soup “Bouillon”, which is very popular in France, is made from fresh beef, chicken, flavoring vegetable like onion, carrot and celery and spices. On top of the selection of ingredients, simmering time and simmering temperature are important condition to make a good quality broth.

In Italy, broths called “Sugo” and”Brodo” are rich in umami flavor. They are made through a careful process and used as a base for a wide variety of dishes.

Inaka JiruAlso in Japan, each local region has its own taste of soup and dish using their local vegetables. Besides that, there is a widely popular soup called “Inaka-jiru” (meaning countryside soup), which is made with pork, chicken, mushrooms and some vegetables such as Japanese radish, carrot, taro, Chinese cabbage and spring onion. This is just like “the taste of mother’s home cooking” in Japan.

Here is the simple and easy recipe of Inaka-jiru. This soup is filled with umami brought out from vegetables.

Easy INAKAJIRU recipe

1. Make broth by soaking Kombu (seaweed) and Shiitake mushroom in water over night.
2. Toast soya beans until slightly colored.
3. Cut Shiitake mushroom, carrot, burdock and potato to size, and add them into the broth (Step-1). Add toasted soya beans (Step-2) and boil until all ingredients become tender. Add soy sauce, sake, mirin (sweet rice wine) to adjust the taste, and simmer vegetables until the taste will soak in.