Easy and umami-filled, this Clam Miso Soup will be a new addition to your favorite 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.
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.
Simple 3 Ingredients to Make Clam Miso Soup
- 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.
- Miso – It works with any miso type you have.
- 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
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.
Japanese Clam Miso Soup
For Cleaning the Clams
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Gather all the ingredients.
To De-Grit and Clean the Clams
- As soon as you purchase the clams, you must purge them of sand and clean them following my tutorial. Use 2 cups water and 1 Tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt and start this process 1 hour prior to cooking.
To Prepare the Clam Miso Soup
- In a medium pot, put the clean ½ lb Manila clams, 2 cups water, and 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low.
- 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.
- When all the clams open up, turn off the heat immediately and do not overcook it. Remove and discard the kombu.
- Use a ladle and dissolve 2 Tbsp miso. Each brand of miso has different saltiness, so adjust the taste of the soup by adding more water or miso (add a small amount at a time).
- Serve the Clam Miso Soup in individual soup bowls. Sprinkle with 1 green onion/scallion (chopped). When you need to reheat the soup, make sure you DO NOT BOIL the miso soup because it will lose its flavor.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container or in the pot and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.