Failing Miso Soup

I have always wanted to learn how to make Japanese food even before I came to Japan. I researched a little bit about it in America, but unfortunately many of the ingredients tended to be more expensive in my home state. So when I first came to Japan, I decided that I would try to create some of the delicious specialties that Japan had to offer. One of the first things I tried to make was miso soup. In the past I had always made instant soup, which was good, but I wanted to try it with good tofu.

I went onto the Internet to find a good recipe. Of course, one in Japanese would’ve been better however my skills in that language aren’t so great so I opted for an English one. I bought the miso paste, tofu, and various extras. I was so excited to make it. Unfortunately, the recipe seemed to be for a whole family of four, but I said to myself that I loved miso soup so I would just make a lot and save some for later. I don’t mind leftovers at all!

I tried to follow the recipe to the letter. Boiling water, adding in the miso, carefully dropping the tofu in as well as the vegetables that I had chosen. Once everything had boiled for a little while, from the color it looked absolutely scrumptious. I was excited and when it finally seemed to have finished, I took my spoon and tried a sample. As soon as the liquid reached my tongue, the saltiness attacked my taste buds. I recoiled in disgust. What did I do wrong?? This was not what I had expected! It was worse than the instant miso I had made before. I swear I had done it exactly as it said. I scanned the recipe and my eyes scanned each ingredient and step. Then I realized my mistake. I had forgotten the ‘dashi’, or soup stock! I couldn’t believe my eyes nor my tongue. What a crazy mistake I had made! Unfortunately, I had to discard what I had made (I did eat the tofu separately as it wasn’t too bad). I considered starting over but I didn’t even buy the stock. I was disheartened with my mistake.

However, six months later, I tried again. I used the same recipe but this time double…no, triple checked all of the ingredients that I had bought. Everything was there. I took another risk (since I realized I was so bad at it). I took a deep breath and went slowly this time. Well, to my surprise (and happiness) I was successful! The warm taste on my lips was satisfying. I didn’t think I could do it, but fortunately I had. I think a good thing to remember is that yes, you may fail in cooking every now and then, but even more than that you can also succeed! So, even if you might fail, always try again! You can do it!



opt (v) ? to choose one thing instead of another
to the letter (idiom) ? exactly as something is written or instructed
scrumptious (adj.) ? very pleasant to taste; delicious
recoil (v) ? to quickly move away from something that is shocking, frightening, or disgusting