COMFORT SOUPS

Yuki Gomi – miso soup

miso soup
An inviting bowl of miso soup. Photograph: Alamy

In Japan, a bowl of miso soup is what makes everything better. “It’s mummy food,” says Gomi. “Every time I have miso soup it feels like home. Whether in Japan or away, even the smell of miso soup reminds Japanese people of their mummy.” Miso is a core Japanese ingredient, made from fermented beans and then mixed, depending on the region, with rice, wheat or beans. “Where I’m from in Yamanashi prefecture, near Mount Fuji, our miso is made from a mix of rice and wheat and is quite pale. We use the paste to make hōtō noodle miso soup with thick, handmade wheat noodles, mushrooms and pumpkin, slow-cooked for a long time. You eat it in a big bowl and it’s really good.”

Like lots of fermented foods, miso is rich in amino acids and complex proteins. The fermentation process also means miso contains lots of probiotics, making it easy to digest. “My grandmother’s generation had miso all the time, as much as we drink tea in Britain. I learned how to make it from her and from my mother, but once you’ve got the basics you can use different miso soups as a base and add in whatever you feel like: pork belly for energy and extra-rich flavour; root vegetables for the comfort of carbohydrates. There are no rules.”

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Poet, screenwriter, producer, mentor
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