Chicken, Root Vegetable & Pearl Barley Miso Soup
Chicken, Root Vegetable & Pearl Barley Miso Soup

Chicken, Root Vegetable & Pearl Barley Miso Soup

Japanese tonjiru is a hearty and comforting miso soup made with chunky root vegetables and slow-cooked pork. This recipe is based on that, but uses chicken instead of pork for a lighter flavour but no less heart-warming effect. Like any good chicken soup, this one also works as a meal in and of itself.
Photography: LAURA EDWARDS

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20g of pearl barley, cooked (see method)
1 chicken drumstick or thigh, boned, cut into 2.5 cm chunks
½ onion, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
5g of fresh ginger root, peeled & finely shredded
600ml of dashi or chicken stock
50g of daikon, peeled & cut into wedges about 5mm thick, or radishes, washed & quartered
70-80g of burdock, Jerusalem artichokes or parsnips, peeled & cut into 1cm cubes
1 small carrot, peeled & cut into semi-circles about 5mm thick
60g of miso
1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
Shichimi pepper or chilli oil, to taste (optional)
Step 1

Cooking times for pearl barley seem to vary widely depending on what kind you buy, so it’s best to cook it ahead of time according to the package instructions. Once it’s done, rinse it under cold water and set aside.

Step 2

Place the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger and dashi together in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Use a small sieve or ladle to remove any scum that forms on the surface.

Step 3

Boil for about 15 minutes, then add the daikon, burdock and carrot, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes until the vegetables and chicken are very soft.

Step 4

Top up the water periodically so the broth doesn’t reduce.

Step 5

Add the cooked pearl barley and simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and whisk in the miso and spring onion.

Step 6

Serve hot with shichimi or chilli oil, if using. This lasts four days in the fridge.

Recipe courtesy of: JapanEasy: Bowls & Bento by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant Books, £21.99). Photography © Laura Edwards.

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