You are enjoying your day off at the local café. You decide to sit outdoors because the weather is just too beautiful not to. While you look across the street, you notice a small ball rolling along the sidewalk. You think nothing of it, probably just some kids playing ball. You take a bite into you sandwich and enjoy the burst of flavor. Again you notice a ball rolling. This one seems to be slightly larger and oddly shaped. Seems a lot of the kids are out playing catch or something. You relax and enjoy the nice breeze. You begin to hear a low rumble behind you. You think to yourself, “it’s probably just some construction going on a few blocks over.” The noise grows in intensity. A woman yells. As you turn around you notice a large ball-like object closing in on you. You get to your feet but realize there isn’t enough time. The object sucks you up and pulls you into its shrieking mass of bodies, household appliances, and lawn ornaments.
When you look at a game like Katamari Damacy from the point of view of the objects, it is pretty horrifying. Luckily, in the game we play the role of the collector, not the collected. Katamari Damacy is a game that I can be willing to play at any time. It is so entertaining to just roll up the world. I really enjoy the levels where you start very tiny and end up being capable of collecting land masses. The detail and playfulness of the design really makes this one of my favorite games. If you’ve never played a Katamari game I would highly recommend you go out and find this game. There are several games out and on a few different consoles. If you love these games I would also suggest you check out the designer’s (Keita Takahashi) other game Noby Noby Boy.
When trying to decide how I could represent this ridiculous game on my blog, it took a little bit of thinking. Sure I could just take one of the random foods you can collect but I wasn’t sold by that. Then it struck me, the perfect food item lies within the cousins – Miso! Quickly, I started figuring out how to make miso soup. This required me to go to my local (45 minute away) Japanese market to get the necessary ingredients. This recipe requires a few ingredients you won’t find at your typical American grocery store, so the best thing you can do is find a local Japanese market or order the items on Amazon (I haven’t done this so I’m not sure how well that works). Besides the ingredients being a little tricky to find, the recipe isn’t too difficult. The great taste you get from a little extra work you put into this recipe, compared to an instant miso soup pack, is totally worth it.
Required Equipment: Pot, Meshed Strainer, Bowl, Ladle
Servings: 4-6 bowls
– 4 cups Water
– 1 Konbu
– 4 tbsp bonito flakes
– 1 tbsp Wakame
– 2-4 tbsp shiro (white) miso
– 3 scallions
First we need to make the dashi stock. Begin by filling your pot water and add your konbu seaweed.
Add the bonito flakes to the pot. Bring the water to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes and strain the foam from the top of the broth.
While the stock is being made, prepare the other pieces for the miso soup. The wakame is dried seaweed so place the amount you would like to use in a bowl and add water. This will rehydrate the wakame. Also chop your tofu into cubes and finely dice the green onion. Prepare your mesh strainer by placing it over a bowl.
Once your dashi stock has simmered for at least 15 minutes (longer is okay, that will amplify the flavor), it is ready to be strained. If you want that stock to have a stronger fishy taste let it boil longer. You might have to strain the broth a few times to make sure the big chunks of bonito flakes are not in the stock (I had to do it twice). This stock can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. The stock should hold for about 5 days.
When you are ready to make the miso soup, place the dashi stock in a pot. It is very important that you don’t bring it to a boil. Miso will breakdown and lose its flavor if you overheat it. At this point, we just want to warm the stock and the ingredients. Add the wakame and tofu cubes. Allow this to warm.
Lower the heat and begin to slowly introduce the miso to the soup. I highly recommend you add a tablespoon of miso at a time. The first time I tried making miso soup, I added way too much miso and the soup was overly salty. To introduce the miso to the soup, take a ladle and place the tablespoon of miso in it. Take about half a ladle full of the stock and mix the miso with the stock until it is combined.
Once combined, add it to the soup and repeat the previous step until you reached the desired taste.