though a bowl of soup may not be the best subject for this fun photomanipulation…
This is a clam an oyster chowder with Japanese ingredients! Sweet white miso and soy milk combine to make this interesting soup. The store was fresh out of clams, except for the small flat tins of smoked clams. So I’ve substituted shucked oysters for the clams.
One of my most memorable “meals” was a couple of cans of smoked clams (or oysters, or mussels?), a few cello-wrapped saltines, and warm soda, shared with my daughter, my husband, and his sister on a beach in the wilderness of Washington state in 1990. We had somehow missed lunch, and facing hours of driving to a town, we stopped to search our bags for edible items. We ate sitting on log, overlooking a wild beach; it was a most delicious meal! To this day, I pack a tin of smoked or kippered fish whenever we go to a beach. Once, my husband made me a gift of some kippers. We were at a hotel in Florida and I was going home before he was. It made sense at the time, but the airport security people couldn’t figure out what the thin, oblong metal object in my carry-on could be…
Hiroko’s Clam and Miso Chowder
Kuramu Chauda Hiroko-fu
- 14 to 16 ounces asari clams, or littleneck clams(or use 6 ounces clams canned in brine)
I used 8 ounces of shucked oysters
- One 4-inch square kombu
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 strip of bacon, diced (1 ounce)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup diced celery
(I don’t like the texture of cooked celery, so I used more onions and potatoes, plus some ground celery seeds)
- 1 cup peeled and diced potato
- Bay Leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/4 tsp dried)
- 3 Tablespoons Saikyo miso (sweet white miso)
divided 2 TBS and 1TBS
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup unflavored soy milk
- Minced chives for garnish
• Put the clams into a colander, and the colander into a large bowl of salted cold water (1 TBS. to 1 quart). Let the clams stand in a cool place for 2 to 3 hours to expel sand. Rub and rinse in cold running water.
• In a large pot, combine the clams, kombu, and water. Bring it almost to a boil over medium heat. Remove the kombu, and discard. Bring the pot to a full boil, and skim the foam. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and cook the clams until they open, about 3 to 4 minutes.
With my shucked oysters, I brought the water and kombu almost to a boil over medium heat. I left the kombu in the water while I prepared the rest of the soup. Discarded the kombu before adding the liquid to the soup.
• Discard any unopened clams. Strain the broth through a sieve lined with a tightly woven cotton cloth. Reserve the clams and broth in separate bowls, covered.
• In a medium pot, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over low heat until crisp.
Pour off excess oil, leaving about 1 Tablespoon in the pot. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the flour and toss it with the onions and bacon. Add the reserved broth, the diced vegetables, and the bay leaf and thyme. Increase the heat to medium and bring the contents to a boil. Skim the foam.
• Reduce the heat to low, add 2 TBS of miso, and stir to dissolve. Cover the pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
• Add the reserved clams, 1 TBS miso, and salt to taste. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Lower the heat slightly, and add the soy milk. Heat. Don’t boil the soy milk: it will curdle!
• Discard the bay leaf. Serve immediately.
Japanese Oyster Chowder with Tori no Tsukune
Other Japanese Soups from Tess
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