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Japanese Clam Miso Soup あさりの味噌汁

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    Easy and umami-filled, this Clam Miso Soup will be a new addition to your favorite soup!

    A red bowl containing Clam Miso Soup.

    Both tofu and wakame seem to be the mainstream combination in miso soup, but did you know there are literally hundreds of varieties of this everyday Japanese soup?

    Today’s recipe Japanese Clam Miso Soup (あさりの味噌汁) is another popular choice in Japan, and you can use different kinds of clams for this recipe.

    A red bowl containing Clam Miso Soup.

    Why You’ll Love This Japanese Clam Miso Soup

    • Flavorful and delicious.
    • So easy to make!
    • A fancier version of the ordinary miso soup.
    • Additional protein and nutrition.

    A red bowl containing Clam Miso Soup.

    Simple 3 Ingredients to Make Clam Miso Soup

    1. Dashi – When I make my clam miso soup, I like to use Kombu Dashi instead of my regular Awase Dashi made with kombu and katsuobushi. The umami from kombu matches perfectly with the delicious essence from clam stock. It feels like an oceanic culinary experience.
    2. Miso – It works with any miso type you have.
    3. Manila clams – Use good quality, fresh clams for this recipe. I also suggest using nothing but clams as the only ingredient in the soup. That means no tofu or wakame seaweed. If you like to enjoy clam miso soup, you do not want to mix up the delicate clam flavor with other ingredients. Garnish it with some chopped scallion would round everything up beautifully.

    How to De-Grit Clams

    How to Clean Clams (De-grit) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

    It’s important to de-grit and to clean the clams before using them for your recipe. No one wants to taste or feel the sand in your food.

    There are various articles on the Internet on how to de-grit clams and they will probably all work. In the US, popular methods include the use of cornmeal to get the sand out of clams. Clams purge the sand and grit out by ingesting the cornmeal.

    In Japan, however, the most common method is by using simple saltwater. Fishermen and housewives all use this method and it’s how I de-grit and clean clams, too. If you are interested in the Japanese way, here’s how we do it.


    I hope you will give this easy miso soup a try! If you want a clear broth version without miso, check out the Japanese Clear Clam Soup (Ushio-Jiru) recipe.

    A red bowl containing Clam Miso Soup.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    5 from 5 votes
    A red bowl containing Clam Miso Soup.
    Japanese Clam Miso Soup
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    5 mins
    De-Gritting Time
    2 hrs
    Total Time
    2 hrs 10 mins

    Flavorful manila clam soup in dashi kombu stock, garnished with green onion. The umami from kombu matches perfectly with the delicious essence of the clam stock.

    Course: Soup
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: asari miso soup, clam soup, miso soup
    Servings: 2
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • ½ lb Manila clams (227 g)
    • 2 cups water (480 ml)
    • 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) (2 x 2 inches or 5 x 5 cm)
    • 2 Tbsp miso (I use Awase Miso)
    • 1 green onion/scallion (finely chopped)
    For Degrit Clams:
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 Tbsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Clam Miso Soup Ingredients
    To De-Grit and Clean Clams
    1. De-grit clams by following my detailed How To De-Grit Clam post. Even though some packages may say “ready to use”, I highly recommend doing this process. Quick Summary: Add 1 Tbsp salt in 2 cups water in a bowl and let it dissolved completely. Tip: Place a sieve in the bowl so that any sand and grit the clams purge would stay on the bottom of the bowl instead of being consumed by the clams again.

      Clam Miso Soup 1
    2. Add 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 (1 Tbsp salt for 2 cups water). Cover the bowl with aluminum foil to create a dark environment for clams and leave it in a cool place for 2 hours. This should give clams enough time to purge sand and grit.

      Clam Miso Soup 2
    3. Wash the clams carefully with a brush. Clams are now ready to use.
      Clam Miso Soup 3
    To Prepare Clam Miso Soup
    1. In a medium pot, put the clean clams, 2 cups water, and kombu and bring it to a boil over medium heat.

      Clam Miso Soup 5
    2. When boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low.

      Clam Miso Soup 6
    3. Skim off the scum using a fine-mesh skimmer. Tip: Prepare a cup/bowl of water and dip the skimmer in the water to clean.

      Clam Miso Soup 7
    4. When all the clams opened up, turn off the heat immediately and do not overcook it. Remove and discard the kombu.

      Clam Miso Soup 8
    5. Use a ladle and dissolve 1 Tbsp miso at a time before adding another tablespoon. Each brand of miso has different saltiness so adjust accordingly.

      Clam Miso Soup 10
    6. Serve miso soup in individual soup bowls and sprinkle chopped scallion. When you need to reheat the soup, make sure you DO NOT BOIL miso soup because it will lose the flavor.

      A red bowl containing Clam Miso Soup.
    Recipe Notes

    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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