Japanese Kencin-jiru: Zen Buddhist Vegetarian Soup (In Japanese)      
(For all ingredients, please use organic versions if available)
¼ Japanese radish
½ carrot
½ burdock root
½ green onion
3 taros
½ firm tofu
½ konjac jelly
4 dried shiitake mushrooms for broth
One 10 centimeter square of kelp for broth
1 liter water
1 slice of deep-fried tofu
3 large tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Mixture of red cayenne pepper and other spices to sprinkle over food

  1. To make the soup broth, place 4 dried shiitake mushrooms and 1 centimeter of konbu (kelp) into 1 liter of water.
  2. Remove the shiitake mushroom stems and slice the remaining part so it can be eaten more easily.
  3. Let the broth sit overnight.
  4. Put the broth into a earthen pot and put cover on it.
  5. Drain water from the tofu.
  6. Cover the tofu with a paper towel for a while to get rid of the water. Let it sit for some time.
  7. Cut the konjac into thin rectangular or square slabs.
  8. Place the konjac in a bowl and scrub with salt to rid off the lye. Let it sit for a while.
  9. Cut the radish into the shape of a ginkgo leaf by cutting it into two halves first, then cut again into halves. Then cut into 5 millimeter widths. Put them into a vat.
  10. Cut the carrot in the same way with the raddish. If the carrot is too small, cut into half moons. Place the carrot into a vat.
  11. Wash the salt off the konjac, and then place it in a strainer to drain the water.
  12. Get rid of the oil from the deep fried tofu by boiling some water beforehand to rinse the oil off of the deep fried tofu.

  13. Cut the deep fried tofu into two halves. Place one on top of the other and cut lengthwise to make thin strips. Make each strip about 1 centimeter wide.
  14. Turn on the flame and put the earthen pot on the flame.
  15. Add in the raddish and the carrot into the earthen pot.
  16. Pour the konjac in, and then add in the burdock roots. Cut the burdock roots into thin slivers as if shaving a pencil with a knife and put it into the water. No need to peel the burdock roots but gently washed the roots with a brush instead to keep the sweetness.
  17. Cover the pot and wait until it boils.
  18. Meanwhile peel the taro and then cut it into half moons.
  19. When the broth boils, scoop out the little lye coming out of the vegetables and get rid of it.
  20. Add in the taro and the sliced deep fried tofu.
  21. Add about ½ a spoonful of soy sauce.
  22. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  23. Meanwhile, cut the green onions to add at the end. Cut them into small pieces.
  24. After 5 minutes, add in the tofu that has been crushed into small pieces.
  25. Pour in the remaining soy sauce.
  26. Turn the flame slightly stronger and simmer some more.
  27. Close the cover for a while.
  28. Then add in the green onions.
  29. And finally spread the sesame oil around the pot.
  30. The soup is ready to be served.

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