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Food Recipes, Imported, Seafood + Shellfish, Soups + Chowder

seductive miso clam soup

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Clam Miso Soup, a delightful way to step into Spring. Light, satisfying, and deliciously flavored to tempt the most discerning gourmand. This creative slant on a classic Japanese dish is worthy of top billing for your next Seduction Meal. Serve with a chilled glass of premium Saki and toast to your good fortune.

Clams_Miso.jpgMiso soup is a staple in Japan, where it can be found at breakfast, lunch, or dinner meals, usually served in a small bowl to the side of the main dish.  Miso is an excellent source of protein, and so this soup is a great source of low-fat energy.  Many people make miso soup using instant soup or instant dashi packets.  Unfortunately these products usually contain a great deal of salt and MSG.  Making dashi from scratch is quite easy, and once you’ve done that you’re half way to being done with the soup.

What is miso?
Miso is fermented tofu.  As the tofu ferments it becomes a richly flavored, aromatic paste that is very high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Which miso should I use in my soup?

There are two commonly found types of miso: light miso, and dark miso.  You can actually use either in miso soup with great results.  Light miso has a milder flavor that the Japanese like to use in miso soup served in the morning with breakfast or in the afternoon.  It is commonly paired with silken or fried tofu, green onions, and sometimes seaweed.  Dark miso (aka red miso) has been fermented longer, and has a much more robust flavor.  Miso soups made with dark miso are usually served in the evening at dinner.  You sometimes find stronger flavored ingredients in these evening miso soups, such as baby clams.



Clam Miso Soup
Recipe Courtesy of Marx Foods

Ingredients

  • 13 cups homemade dashi
  • 6-7 green onions or negi (Japanese green onions, these are a sweeter variety)
  • 1 package of fried or silken tofu
  • ½ cup fresh shiitake mushrooms (stems removed), fresh matsutake
    mushrooms
    , or fresh maitake mushrooms.  You could also reconstitute
    1/4th cup of dried mushrooms and use those instead.
  • ~13oz of dark/red miso (about 1 tbsp per cup of water)
  • 2lbs of live manila clams

Directions

  1. Finely slice green onions on a bias and reserve for a garnish. 
    Scrub the clams with a wire brush, discarding any that have cracked
    shells or are not tightly closed.  Cut the tofu into small cubes if
    using silken, thin strips if you are using fried.  Reconstitute the
    mushrooms if dried, and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Simmer the clams in the home made dashi until they open wide
    along with the mushrooms, skimming off any particles that rise to the
    surface.
  3. Remove the clams from the soup base, discarding any that have
    failed to open.  If any sand has been released into the pot, strain the
    dashi before continuing.
  4. Add the blocks or strips of tofu to the broth, and simmer for a few minutes on low heat so it will absorb some of the flavor.
  5. Ladle some of the dashi stock into a small bowl and whisk in the
    miso paste.  Once the mixture is smooth, add it back to the pot and
    stir to combine.  Once the miso has been added to the soup, it must not
    be boiled.

Plating the Dish

  1. Put the cooked clams in the bottom of each of your serving bowls (either in or out of the shell)
  2. Pour the miso soup over them. 
  3. Top with finely sliced green onions. 
  4. Serve with chopsticks so your guests can pick out the clam meat,
    tofu, and mushrooms (and stir the miso in case it starts to settle).

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About the author / 

Terry Dagrosa

Terry Dagrosa, founder and publisher of SeductionMeals.com. As President of Digital Marketing Collective and Tara del Mar Productions, she has extensive experience in sales, design, digital marketing and social media. "Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget, so we’re thrilled to introduce our very special and highly-talented contributors and friends.  They’ll share their mouth-watering recipes, cheeky anecdotes and delightfully creative perspectives with all of us. Be sure to check out their websites and follow them, too – we promise you’ll learn to love and cherish them as much as we do!" xoxo

7 Comments

  1. Matt Mattus April 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Terry!
    I LOVE miso soup with clams, and get it whenever I am in Tokyo. I wish I could get the tiny tiny tiny clams, they use, but here in New England, any hardshell small clam seems to do fine. There is a smokyness, though, which I cannot replicate. Any idea if the broth has something a smoked Kombu?

  2. terry dagrosa April 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Matt,
    I asked Marx Foods about the clams they carry. They do not have the tiny clams you referred to however, they do have manila clams which are super sweet, tender and one of the smallest clams that I know to be available here. And, the Kombu is hand-harvested and air-dried…but not smoked.

  3. alice April 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    This looks great. What a nice alternative way to have Miso soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Kim–at the Paper Apron April 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    This is such a lovely photograph. It’s art at its edible best! Great blog. I look forward to watching your video.

  5. Darrin April 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm -  Reply

    Wow, Clams in Miso? THIS I have to try!!

  6. Timeless Gourmet May 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    Consider me seduced! How wonderful, and I agree with your dashi comment…homemade is the way to go.

  7. Matt Mattus November 13, 2009 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    Terry, I am SO trying Momofuku’s version of a smoked bacon dashi this weekend, just bought the Momofuku book and I think it’s changed my life!

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Seduction Meals is about Food + Romance, and everything in-between. . . a sumptuous menu, alluring presentation, sensuous music, luscious cocktails and the right ambiance. Like a precious gift, preparing a romantic meal for two is about making that certain someone feel extra special. With just the right combination of ambience and culinary delights, you too can create a memorable, delicious experience for your loved one. Seduction Meals. Everyone has one - what's YOURS?

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.