About six years ago, I shared an apartment, officially, with one good friend and unofficially with a second, who spent every night at our place after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. I think it was the combination of limited mobility with our inherent awesomeness that made it hard for her to return to her own place. But, she was incredibly smart and funny, so we never really minded the extra tenent. On an oppressively hot and muggy day, we were desperate for air conditioning and decided that the little sushi place across town sounded like a good escape. I let her do the ordering. It was all so new and intimidating to me. I'd had sushi before (if you count California rolls), but had never had the confidence to explore the menu. Miso, tempura, sashimi; these were foreign and mysterious words to me and I had no idea what delicious adventure that I was embarking upon. The miso was so warm and comforting. Not exactly salty, but wonderfully savory. It became something that I craved and looked forward to whenever we went out for Japanese. It wasn't until this weekend that I had the courage to try making it at home. The mirin and miso paste I was able to find at my co-op, but for the dashi I had to venture out to the Asian market. All I was able to find was an instant dried version to which one adds water. Knowing nothing about dashi, I don't know where this stands on any sort of quality meter, but it worked fine for me. I altered this recipe from its printed version to fit what we had on hand (I had to use the chard from my garden!) and added noodles to make it a bit heartier.