Good Soup, Good Karma

10 Dec

The weather in SF has been unpredictable. One day the temperature just dropped and it was FUH-Reeezing. So I decided to use the chicken carcass I always seem to have on hand and make some soup. Veering from my usual soup that I always make, I decided to change things up, as Normalicious suggested, so I made an Asian soup instead.


My mom taught me how to make this awesome Japanese soup that she calls Obousan soup, or Buddhist Monk Soup.  Buddhist monks are generally vegetarians so this soup incorporates tons of veggies and is traditionally made with either fish broth or no broth at all.  It’s light aromatic and reminds me of home.

Kitchen Mischiefs’ Mama’s Obousan Soup

chicken carcass
1 gobou (burdock root)
4 – 5 taro potatoes
1 carrot, cut in half-inch pieces
1 basket of shiitake mushrooms, cut in half
a block of konyaku (yam jelly), cut in 1/4 inch pieces
soy sauce, to taste.  (I think I used about 2 tbs)
mirin or sake, 2 splashes
salt, to taste, (I think I used about 1 tbs)
sesame oil, just a drizzle
  1. Make chicken stock but do not use celery or garlic; use only chicken and onions.
  2. Peel the skin off of the burdock root with a peeler.  Cut the root asymmetrically into quarter-inch thick pieces.  Toss cut burdock root into a big bowl of water to keep it from oxidizing.
  3. Peel the taro potatoes, cut and quarter.  Soak in another bowl of water.
  4. Wash and cut shiitake mushrooms in half.
  5. With the gobou and taro, drain the water and add to the chicken broth.
  6. Rinse the block of konyaku and cut into 1/4 in. slices on its shorter side.
  7. Then, add the shiitake and konyaku.
  8. Add seasonings, and keep playing with the measurements until you acquire the amount of flavor you want.

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