White miso clam chowder

In this seafood soup Nic Watt shows how to make dashi, the stock that gives such an intense savoury flavour to Japanese cuisine
By Nic Watt
White miso clam chowder
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the dashi

  • 1 dried shiitake mushroom
  • 10 cm /sq dried kombu, (kelp)
  • 25 g bonito flakes

For the scallop congee base

  • 50 g sushi rice, washed under cold running water and soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • 1 tsp dried scallops

For the chowder base

  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 3 tbsp mix of scallop and rice, see recipe above
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp ginger juice, the juice from squeezed grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp myoga ginger, also known as ginger blossom, finely diced
  • 2 tsp finely diced celery
  • 600 g washed and rinsed small clams, in their shells
  • 70 ml sake
  • 1 lime, finely sliced

To serve

  • pinches dried yuzu zest
  • pinches Korean dried chillies
  • chopped celery leaves
  • slices limes

Tips and Suggestions

Cooks note:
Dried scallops, white miso, ginger blossom (myoga), dried yuzu and Korean dried chilli are available from many Japanese or Chinese stores or online.


1. For the dashi: combine 900ml boiling water, the dried shiitake, kelp and dried bonito into a coffee plunger. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and then press down the plunger. Set aside.

2. For the scallop congee base: combine the rice, scallop and 2 cups of the dashi in a small saucepan. Reserve the remaining dashi. Simmer for 30 minutes until the rice has cooked down to a porridge-like consistency.

3. Tip the rice mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth.

4. For the chowder base: combine 180ml of dashi, the white miso, 3 tablespoons of the congee base, the soy sauce and ginger juice in a small saucepan and heat.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a lidded frying pan and fry the ginger blossom and celery until softened.

6. Tap the clams against a hard surface and discard any that do not close. Add the clams to the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute and then add the sake. Cover with a lid and steam the clams until they open - about 2 minutes. Any clams that do not open should be discarded.

7. To serve, arrange the clams on two plates. Add the juices from the clam pan to the hot chowder base and pour this over the clams. Serve with a pinch of dried yuzu peel, Korean dried chilli, lime slices and some celery leaves.

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