Clam Soup (Clam Miso Soup) あさりの味噌汁

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Clam Miso Soup | JustOneCookbook.comHalloween is here and I turn another year older.  I can’t help but reflect on life a bit so bear with me.  As I write this post, I think about how much my blog has grown since I started blogging last year.  I’m sincerely thankful for my family, friends, and readers for your love and support.

Throughout a day I receive kind messages from readers giving me feedback on the food they cooked using my recipes.  There are many recipes to choose from out there, but you trusted mine and gave it a try.  These kind messages keep me going and have been the source of my fundamental strength to keep my blog alive.  So thank you, thank you for making my life a little more meaningful everyday.   :)

Today I’d like to share one of my favorite miso soup, Clam Soup (あさりの味噌汁; Asari Miso Soup).

Clam Miso Soup | Just One
When I make my clam miso soup, I like to use kombu dashi instead of my regular dashi stock.  The umami from kombu matches perfectly with the delicious essence coming from clam stock.  It feels like an oceanic culinary experience.  I also suggest using nothing but clams as ingredients – no tofu or wakame seaweed.  That’s just my personal preference, but if you like to enjoy clam miso soup, you do not want to mix up the delicate clam flavor with other ingredients.

I hope you will give this easy miso soup a try.  Happy Halloween and have fun trick-or-treating!

Clam Miso Soup | Just One

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Clam Soup (Clam Miso Soup)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ lb (200 g) Manila clams
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 2 inch (5cm) dashi kombu seaweed (optional - See Note 1)
  • 2 Tbsp miso (I use awase miso)
  • 1 green onion
For Degrit Clams
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  1. De-grit clams (Read my How To page for details and complete process). Here’s a quick version. Add 1 Tbsp. salt in 2 cups water. Place a sieve in the bowl so that any sand and grit the clam purge would stay on the bottom of the bowl instead of being consumed by the clams again.
  2. Place the clams inside the sieve without overlapping each other. The water level should be right around the clam’s mouth. If there isn’t enough salt water, make more using the same ratio of water and salt. Cover with aluminum foil (to make it dark) and leave it in a cool place for 2 hours. This should give clams enough time to purge sand and grit.
  3. Wash the clams carefully with a brush. Clams are now ready to use.
  4. Gently clean the dashi kombu with a damp cloth (DO NOT WASH) but leave the white powdery substances which contribute to the umami flavor in the stock.
  5. Put clams, water, and dashi kombu in a pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  6. When boiling, reduce heat to low.
  7. Skim off scum and here’s how I do it. Prepare a cup/bowl of water and a fine mesh strainer and scoop off scum. Dip the strainer in water to clean while scooping.
  8. Turn off the heat immediately after clams are all open. Remove the dashi kombu.
  9. Add miso 1 Tbsp. at a time. Each brand of miso has different saltiness so adjust accordingly.
  10. If you do not have a miso strainer, use a ladle and dissolve miso in there so you can make sure all the miso paste are dissolve before adding more.
  11. When you are ready to serve, heat up miso soup, but DO NOT BOIL miso soup (because it will lose the miso flavor). Serve in miso soup bowl and sprinkle chopped green onion.
1: If you don't have dashi kombu, you can omit; however the flavor will lack nice umami from kombu.

Preparation time is not including the time for de-gritting clams.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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  1. Happy Birthday! The soup looks awesome. I love the simple preparation of the soup that really brings out the flavor of the clams.
    I love your recipes, photography, and styling of the food. Great job, Nami.

  2. This looks marvelous, Nami! I stare at all the miso options when I’m a Whole Foods…is there anything I should be looking for? I really must make one of your delicious soups soon. Happy, happy birthday!!!!

    • Most commonly you will see 3 kinds: shiro miso (white miso), aka miso (red miso), and awase miso (mix of red and white).

      I usually use awase miso for my miso soup and a lot of dishes using miso. However, certain fish dish I shared on my blog, I use white miso.

      For general cooking, I’d recommend awase or white miso, but some people like red miso. It came down to your preference on the taste. Some brand is saltier so you just need to buy and see the saltiness level.

      Other than that, it’s pretty simple. I buy organic brand which does NOT have dashi flavor in it (because I can make my own organic dashi stock easily).

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have more questions! :) Thanks for the b-day wishes!

  3. Happy Birthday Nami :)

    Always a joy to visit your blog in the past year…I love the details and attention you pay in each and every one of your posts!

    I love ordering clam miso soup when I am in Jap restaurants in Taiwan..the flavour soo good…hard to describe! but haven’t tried making them at home (always only tofu and seaweed)…so will be trying this out soon!

  4. What a delicious thing to wake up to this morning! I love clam miso soup.
    And a beautiful message, Nami. I haven’t been following you too long but am already a great fan! Happy birthday!

  5. Eri

    Happy Birthday my sweet Nami! I wish you all the happiness in the world, you’re so worth it! I love the soup, I love clams and white miso. Hugs and kisses my friend, I hope you;ll have a wonderful day today!

  6. Candice

    Happy Birthday, Nami! I hope you have a wonderful celebration with your family. =)

    Thanks for sharing this easy clam miso soup. I will definitely give this a try as I still have a container of red miso at home.

  7. Oh! Happy birthday Nami! I hope you have the happiest and most love filled years yet! You certainly deserve it. I was just telling some people at work yesterday about how I just adore your blog and am always blown away by how talented you are! (One of them had ordered a bento for lunch and I said how you could out do their dish in a heartbeat.) 😉 This soup looks fabulous. I love miso soup and I love clam based soups. This combines two great treats into one for me! Have a great Halloween Nami and happy birthday again.

  8. Happy Birthday! I thoroughly enjoy your blog – you prepare so many interesting recipes that are new to me, and your instructions and photos are excellent. And today’s recipes is particularly nice! I really like miso and I love clams, so I’m sure I’d like this. Thanks so much.

  9. Eha

    Namiko-san: may the next year-to-be be a contented and fruitful one, one which makes you inwardly smile . . . you deserve that and more . . . You have posted one of my favourites today: so simple, so clean, so full of flavour . . . thank you!

    • Thank you so much Eha for your continued support and kind comments you have given me. It’s rewarding experience especially when I have readers like you. Thank you!

  10. Happy birthday Nami! I am incredibly happy to have found your blog. You’re a wonderful person and you run an AMAZING blog. :) I’m glad running this blog brings you joy.

    This clam soup looks wonderful! I’m in love with the pictures!

  11. Your photography is exquisite. I love how your clams pop out in the photo. Gorgeous! Btw I am happy I discovered your blog too, so many things I can learn from you.

    Happy Birthday to you Nami, and Happy Halloween as well!

  12. You have done a fantastic job on this blog, Nami :) i always look forward to visiting your blog and getting new ideas. Keep up the wonderful work. :). Hubs and I are on a clam drive these days, i agree that its best not to add any other flavoured ingredients into the soup so that we can taste that briny sweetness of the clam that permeates the broth, yum!

  13. Nami, congratulations! Has a year gone by so quickly? I think it was Jill Colonna who pointed out your gorgeous blog and I am so glad she did. Your food is wonderful and you make Japanese dishes accessible in a way I have not yet discovered in any other Japanese cookery writing out there. Keep up the excellent work, my friend!

  14. Happy Birthday, Nami! – “Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, Nami!”

    Hope you will have a wonderful birthday and Halloween with the kids! Your Clam Miso Soup looks so wonderful – I love the “lightness” of your fantastic recipe and the photos are so wonderful again!

    I am planning to prepare your BBQ Chicken Wings tomorrow (recipe from Sep.3, 2012) and hopefully I will find the “gochujang” in my Asian market. I will definitely let you know about the success or failure of my efforts.

    Have a wonderful day!

  15. Happy Birthday, dear Nami! It’s been really fun reading your blogs and trying to stop my mouth from watering each time!

    Clams are really expensive in New Zealand so I always try to make the most of them when I go back to China (where they are soooo cheap!).

  16. Happy Birthday, Nami! All my best wishes for your personal and blogging life (although the two are probably difficult to separate 😉 ). I hope your blogging brings you always as much joy as it brings to all of us.
    The clam soup looks exquisite and I can imagine the ocean breeze when inhaling it… I also think that konbu stock smells like ocean. It’s so delicate and subtle…
    Thank you so much for detailed steps because I have never cooked clams and had absolutely no idea they have to be left in salty water. I would be so happy if I had this soup for breakfast… It would be very extravagant, wouldn’t it? Happy Birthday once more!

  17. Happy birthday to one of the best bloggers in the web! There’s no other site I would turn to for Japanese cooking other than yours Nami. We should thank you for putting all the BIG work in documenting everything in your blog. This is another recipe to try because I love miso and clams. BTW, there are 2 kinds of miso base here in Italy that come from Japan. One is made from barley and the other one is made from rice. On the safe side, I got the one made from rice. What do you think of the barley?

    • Thank you for the b-day wishes Rowena, and thanks for the kind compliment on my blog as well. :)
      Miso is generally made from fermented soybeans, but you can also buy miso made from rice or barley (but rice and barley miso are combination of soybeans and the grain).

      I tried to look a site that explains in better English and found this one is quite useful (although it can be a little complicated):

      According to some Japanese site, 80% of miso produced in Japan is rice miso (but remember, it’s the combination of rice and soybeans, not just rice only). Barley miso is produced/used in Kyushu area and 9% of miso production. I might have tried it when I visited Kyushu area (south of Japan) but I don’t remember the taste. I usually buy rice miso (awase miso or white miso).

  18. Happy birthday, Nami!! lovely soup! I thought it sounded complicated, but such few ingredients, it sounds like a real treat – the essence of the sea. Have a lovely day with Spiderman and Ariel!!

  19. jody

    Happy Birthday!!! Hope this birthday is even better than the last!

    Thank you for sharing your delicious, step by step recipes.

    • Hi Jody! Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes! I’m glad to hear you like my step by step pictures. It does take extra time and effort but I’m always happy to hear my readers like it. :) Thank you for following my blog!

  20. Orchidea

    I love clams… my favorite is “spaghetti with vongole”, vongole is the Italian name for clams. I also like miso a lot so I think I will definitely try this combination. And now… I just have to find good quality clams… here in Stockholm they are imported and they come from the Mediterranean sea so they are quite expencise and most of the time I have bought them, they were also in a very bad shape. But I will try you clams miso soup… I just love clams!

  21. Happy Birthday Nami! I think this might just be better than a birthday cake! I love your expression “oceanic culinary experience” – what a great description. Hope you have a wonderful day filled with all kinds of lovely surprises!

  22. Susan

    Happy, happy birthday Nami! I bet my family will love this. I wish I had more time trying your recipes because they seem so simple yet delicious! More success to your blog!

    • Hi Susan! Thank you so much for your b-day wishes and kind words. I’ll do my best to keep my recipes quick and simple. We all need some quick dish we can serve at the end of busy day! Thanks again! :)

  23. J.C. Montalvo

    Happy Birthday, Nami. I hope you have a wonderful day. This last Sunday, I had a craving for Shrimp Tempura, so I looked on the internet for a recipe; I saw several, opting for yours. It was the right choice. I used it and did not only shirmp, but also coliflower, broccoli, and carrots. They were delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.

    Juan Carlos

    • Hi Juan! Thank you for the birthday wishes! Ohh you found me via Shrimp Tempura post! Thanks for letting me know because sometimes I wonder how people find my blog and it’s fun to find out. :) I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe and vegetable tempura is my favorite too. I’ll share typical Japanese vegetable tempura one day. Thanks again for your kind comment!

  24. Happy Birthday, Nami! I wish you wonderful day full of happiness! I would love to give your clam miso soup a try, and actually try some clams :) I have been your fan for a long time and your recipes never disappoint.
    Talk to you soon!

  25. Happy Birthday to a wonderful and sweet lady!! I am so glad to have met you in our fun food blog world. Your recipes and photos are all inspiring!! This clam soup is just like you, comforting, warm and nourishing. I wish you all the best today and the year to come. Have a fun day! ~ Ramona

  26. Happy Halloween and Happy birthday, Nami! Today it will be the first time I celebrate the classic American holiday with my American side of family. So it will be the special day for the two of us:) I was just telling Mark last night that we will fly to Iceland to enjoy some really fresh seafood once we get some time off from work. So I am all over your miso clam soup right now. Have a blessed time!

  27. Very Happy Birthday to you dear! I do this too when I have my birthday, I contemplate about my dids and my don’ts. The clam soup looks perfect for this type of contemplation!

  28. Happy Birthday, Nami! I hope your day is fun-filled and tasty, just like everything you share with us every week.

    I will have to search for dashi kombu. I always have miso paste in the fridge–would love to try this. I grew up with clam soup that my mom used to make. I bet I would love this. :)

  29. happy birthday, nami ^^ i really appreciate the easy and wonderful recipes you share here.. so, thank you. here’s to another wonderful year of good health and cheer! and maybe getting your own cookbook, soonest ^^ which i will gladly purchase, of course! (^^)

  30. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    Happy birthday! I always love your recipe and enjoy reading your posts – you make things look so simple and easy to follow. Hope you’re showered with so many great things and happiness!

  31. donna mikasa

    Happy Birthday, Nami! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes with us! I’m always drooling when I visit your blog and you’ve inspired me to try a lot of your dishes! I made some miso soup last night, and your clam version looks so good! Have a wonderful day!

    • Thank you so much Donna for your birthday wishes and kind words! I hope you will enjoy clam miso soup because it’s fairly easy to make and so delicious!!! :)

  32. Happy Birthday Nami!! Always a fan of your blog like all your other readers!! What a great looking clam soup!! Your pictures are simply beautiful too!!

  33. Hi Nami, Hope you have a great Birthday celebration with your family and loved ones! Thanks for sharing so many delicious food recipes which makes cooking easy for busy mum and those who are new in cooking. Keep the great passion, look forward to see more of your posts!

  34. Totally agree with you. I love receiving emails and messages from my readers. :) That’s the best encouragement and motivation to keep the recipes and the blog going.

    Your Clam Miso Soup is divine! My family enjoys clams but I don’t cook them as often as I wanted too. Now, you make me what to get some fresh clam and cook away. With my family’s appetite, I probably need to double or triple the recipe though. 😛 Thanks for always sharing your yummy recipes.

  35. I hope you had a great Halloween! And this soup is heavenly! My dad loves anything that involves clams, and I’m sure he wouldn’t contest to a soothing miso soup filled with it! I may have to surprise him with this when he comes to visit me from Korea!

  36. Happiest of Birthdays Nami! Im glad I had time to visit your blog today and not miss your special day! I love miso soup. I always say I am going to make it and never do. You always make these yummy dishes look so easy that I may give it a try when little Layla gives me a moment to cook :)

  37. Congratulations to you for hosting such a wonderful cooking blog. Simple to read and use always responsive to questions and that is what makes you so special. This time of the year I crave warm nourishing soups and not only is this one lovely but it looks quite simple to make. I think the longest time required is cleaning the clams. Do have a recipe for curry udon soup? Another soup that I am craving…… Take Care, BAM

  38. First of all, happy birthday! Your posts never fail to inspire me, including this soup–definitely something I can find the ingredients for, and I adore miso soup.

  39. What a simple, perfect soup. I adore the earthy taste of miso in soup and my hubby would love the clams! How nice to hear about the comments and feedback that sustain you Nami…it’s pretty wonderful when that happens and I agree, it does make it feel worthwhile – especially with so many other things competiting for our time/attention. Good for you! :).

  40. Happy Birthday my dear friend:) We are lucky that you started blogging and sharing not only your delicious recipes but talent. Your soup looks to die for! I love clams and miso so naturally it’s a great combination.

  41. i really need to be brave and cook with clams. i do have a container of miso in the fridge, just waiting to be used in something other than plain miso soup. this looks delicious. and guess what! i am blogging one of your recipes RIGHT NOW! thanks for the inspiration :)

  42. Happy belated birthday Nami! I need to catch up on all your posts, when I find the time. You’re doing a fantastic job on your website and you just get better and better each time. Keep up the good work, and thank you for all the wonderful recipes! :-)

  43. Clams! I love miso soup, though I bet it tastes even better with clams!

    How are you doing? It’s hot at Houston again, the ridiculous thing is there are Christmas decorations everywhere, it seems like every year the retail businesses move their holiday decor schedule up 2 weeks, try to get consumers in the mood to buy. Trinity laughs at me whenever Christmas commercials play on TV, she knows I am not pleased about that…

    Our kitchen is pretty much done for now, the shower situation is still pending, waiting on the numbers before construction starts. Jon and I decided our home would follow these 3 colors: Brown, blue and green. Very soothing and earthy, so far the neighborhoods friends who have seen our “new” place really like the look. I feel quite happy with our home also, though there are A TON of stuff we need to go through that are still sitting in the garage, I have been turning a blind eye to them because it just seems overwhelming. The good thing is a cleaning crew will come next week to do a thorough clean, get all that nasty construction dust out, maybe it will get me in a organization mood… Pineterest here I come (for good organization ideas).

    Have a great weekend, hope you had a great Halloween!

  44. I hope you had a wonderful Birthday =)

    I love Miso soup. This looks super simple and easy, something I think looks so intimidating to make, but you make it look easy enough to follow your instructions. I’ll be trying it soon. Thank you!


  45. How did I miss this?! Happy belated anniversary!!!! What a way to celebrate another year of Just one cookbook! I remember another clam dish of yours and now this one is just as impressive and delicious. I have got to find some clams! We would love this simple, delicate and delicious soup! Looking forward to another year of your wonderful recipes my friend!

  46. Whoops! Didn’t quite read this right. Happy belated birthday Nami!!!! My bad! Hope you had a wonderful day, week and are enjoying a birthday weekend!

  47. Happy Birthday Nami!!I love Miso Soup and this version with clams sounds so so delicious!!Its been great getting to know you and your lovely recipes that I soo love :)Have a great year my friend :)

  48. Nami, so sorry this is late and missed your posts but
    HAAAPPPPY BIRTHDAY, my dear friend! You never cease to amaze me with the wealth of all of your recipes. I think I’m being exotic getting a miso soup in our local Japanese restaurant but this just looks incredible with the clams! Bravo.

  49. Hi Nami, I had no idea Miso soup loses its flavour if boiled – thanks for the tip! I’m going to tell you something which sounds silly though… first I’ll say that the soup looks really nice… I think I’d like it a lot (although I can rarely find clams), but… I must admit… I find the idea of eating a soup, but with hard shells inside infuriating. I’d be trying to enjoy the broth and keep lifting up shells to my mouth. I know it sounds so stupid, but it’s just one of those things that really gets on my nerves, haha – I’d have to serve the soup, remove all the shells and then enjoy it – I’m sure it would be great, but not so pretty anymore that’s for sure! 😀

  50. Nami, I can taste how good this soup is as I remember when I made the clams from Florida. I know I would really love this anytime, thanks for such good directions on how to make it. I need to find some clams again.

  51. Happy Birthday Nami, I hope you are still celebrating;-) I rarely cook with clams but I like them very much and your soup looks like a delicious recipe to try, beautiful pictures;-)

  52. Happy birthday, Nami! I’ve loved discovering your blog, looking at your gorgeous photos, and learning about Japanese food. And I love miso soup! It’s so simple yet satisfying, and a bowl would be great right now since it’s snowing out!

  53. Dear Nami,

    I have tried clams and also scampi miso soup at Japanese restaurants and I can honestly have a few bowls everytime. I really have to make this soup more often at home because it is so simple. Thanks for reminding and sharing a beautiful recipe yet again.

  54. enjoyla

    Hi great website and blog. Tried out your clam in miso soup recipe and it worked beautifully and easily too. My wife was pleased so I m in her good books. Marinating a few fillets of dorade bream in miso (followed your bass in miso recipe) and firing up the grill tomorrow or the day after. Your recipe is fairly close to Nobu’s recipe but his has a lot of sugar. Will it make any difference? Also I am using a taiwanese miso instead of japanese as it comes in smaller packs and cheaper too. I won’t be able to finish the standard packs of miso from japan.

    • Hi enjoyla! Thank you for your kind words. I’m so happy you tried out this recipe and enjoyed it! Hope the fish was good too. The traditional miso cod recipe requires only three ingredients: miso, sake, and mirin. Sugar is not necessary because mirin will add sweet soft flavor just enough to bring out the sweetness. I’ve never seen a Taiwanese miso before (didn’t know that exist!). Well, as you know, miso plays a big role in this dish since that’s the main ingredient. If you use very good miso, the result is amazing (regular miso works too). One day I hope you can try it out with Saikyo miso – the original miso for this recipe. :)

      Thank you again for writing! :)