As part of our Celebrate Community series, we are celebrating the rich cultural diversity of our very own staff members at Mississippi Market.

Kimiko has worked in the front end department at our West 7th store for four years, and has been teaching Japanese cooking classes at Mississippi Market for the last several years.

Kimiko grew up on the semitropical islands in Okinawa prefecture. It is located at the southern end of Japan and is known for longevity and its healthy diet. The base of her cooking is Okinawan, which has heavy influences from both Chinese and Japanese cooking. However, Kimiko lived in Tokyo for more than 12 years from her college years where she fell in love with a variety of Japanese food and started cooking and learning about Japanese food extensively. Now, she primarily cooks Japanese food at home and occasionally Okinawan.

As an oldest child of four, Kimiko started cooking for her family at a young age because her parents were busy running clothing stores, and she learned the pleasure of sharing meals. Every night she cooked for ten people because aunts, uncles or cousins could show up unannounced and join them for dinner – she loved the spontaneity and big family meals. Kimiko feels deeply passionate about sharing her knowledge of Japanese family cooking and culture.

Misoshiru with Dried Shiitake Mushroom Dashi


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 oz dried Shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 Tbsp Miso
  • ½ Package Soft Tofu, cut into ½ “ cubes
  • 1 oz Wakame (cut/dried seaweed), or just dried Wakame
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced


1. To prepare the dried Shiitake mushroom dashi, rinse mushrooms and soak in 4 cups of water for 30-45 minutes. This is the broth for the Misoshiru.

2. When Shiitake mushrooms become soft, take them out and gently squeeze out the water and sliced them thin.  Then put them back to the pan.

3. Bring the water to boil, and cook the Shiitake mushrooms for 5 minutes.

2. Turn off the heat and mix Miso with Shiitake mushroom dashi in a pot.

3. Add tofu and Wakame. If the Wakame is not cut into small pieces, soak it in cold water till it become soft, then squeeze water and cut into about 1”x 1” size.

4. Turn on medium heat, but remove from heat right before the boiling point. Never boil Miso soup. Boiling the Miso soup makes the soup too salty and makes it lose the
sweet fragrance of the Miso paste.

5. Garnish Miso soup with thinly sliced onions after serving the soup in individual bowl.

View previous posts in this series

Celebrate Community: Victor
Celebrate Community: America
Celebrate Community: Ebele
Celebrate Community: Libya
Celebrate Community: Yemen
Celebrate Community: Iran
Celebrate Community: Syria
Celebrate Community: Sudan
Celebrate Community: Iraq
Celebrate Community: Somalia