I love miso soup on its own. But miso soup with asari clams just bring the taste one notch higher with the deep seafood flavour (umami) of the clams broth combined with the savoury miso soup. The result is a sweet and savoury soup full of umami-ness (flavours of the sea). This is so quick to prepare because there is no prolonged simmering involved. The clams will cook in under 2 minutes and as for the miso soup, you just have to dissolve the miso paste in the hot stock. Do not boil miso soup as the high heat may cause fermentation and indigestion. As far as quick and easy goes, this has got to be the most fuss-free Japanese recipes of all, which is why I love to make this soup at home with extra servings of clams. The miso soup sold outside is sometimes too salty, so I like it that I can adjust the saltiness to my liking at home.
In this recipe, Japanese asari clams are used. If you can't find asari clams, feel free to substitute with any type of local clams (such as lala clams, manila clams) in your area.
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:7 mins
500 ml dashi stock (I cheat by using 1/2 tsp dashi stock powder)
250 grams asari clams (may substitute with other clams)
50 grams tofu cubed
1/2 tbsp dried cut wakame soaked in water until softened and reconstituted
1 tbsp miso paste to taste
1 leaf of napa cabbage thinly sliced (optional)
1 tbsp chopped spring onions (scallions)
Scrub clams with a hard brush, then soak in salted water for at least an hour for the clams to purge out sand and impurities. Drain and rinse clams.
In a small pot, bring dashi stock to boil. Transfer 1 -2 ladles of hot stock to a small bowl and stir to dissolve miso paste completely.
Reduce heat and add asari clams. Simmer with lid closed for about 1-2 minutes, until all the shells open.
Add cubed tofu, dried wakame and napa cabbage. Simmer until cabbage is cooked, about a minute. Turn off the heat.
Return the miso mixture prepared in step 1 back to the pot, while the soup is still hot. Stir evenly.
Ladle to serving bowls and garnish with chopped spring onions.
Noob Cook Tips
Discard any shells that remain closed after cooking.
Do not overcook the clams, other wise they will taste rubbery/chewy.
In this recipe, Japanese asari clams are used. I bought mine at Sakuraya (Japanese supermarket in SG) and it comes in a frozen vacuum pack. Simply thaw the packet and then soak the clams in salted water for about an hour before use. The asari clams may be more expensive than our local lala clams (a 250g packet costs S$5.70), but I find them bigger and juicier. It is sold in the frozen form so I can thaw it whenever I feel like cooking, unlike fresh clams where you have to buy and cook on the same day. If you can’t find asari clams, feel free to substitute with any type of local clams (such as lala clams, manila clams) in your area.