Asari no misoshiru (Miso soup with clams)

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Broadcast date:May 18, 2012

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Ingredients (Serves 4 )

・200 g live clams with shells
・3 tablespoons miso paste
・4 cups (800 ml) water
・2 teaspoons salt (for soaking the clams in salted water)
・A small amount of long onion or chive for the garnish

Preparation

  1. Place the clams in a dish, and soak in 2 cups of water to which you have added 2 teaspoons of salt (to produce the same salinity as seawater). Put the dish in a quiet and dark place and let the shellfish soak for at least 30 minutes to expel their sand and grit.
  2. Place the clams in a sieve. Rub the shells together to remove any grime from the shells; rinse under running water.
  3. Place the clams in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and remove the foam and the scum appearing on the surface. Simmer over gentle heat for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Once the shells have opened, add the miso paste with a ladle, using the ladle to scoop up some of the broth to dissolve the paste. Bring the soup to a brief boil before serving.
  5. Serve in bowls and garnish with finely chopped long onion.

Catch of the Day

Miso paste

Miso is a Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans with malt and salt.  It is produced across Japan.  A whole range of varieties and colours are made, depending on the type and amount of malt, the proportion of salt, the temperature of fermentation, and the length of maturation.  Miso can be classified according to the type of malt used, such as malted rice, barley or soybeans.  It can also be classified by colour: red, white, and brown.  The last is actually bright yellow in colour and the most widely available.  Shinshu miso is one of the best-known brown miso pastes.  The name derives from its origin that it was first produced in the Shinshu region of present-day Nagano prefecture.  It is produced with malted rice, and renowned for its golden hue and salty flavour.  Saikyo miso is a type of white miso originating from Kyoto with a shiny creamy colour and delicately sweet flavour.  White miso is generally matured for only about 20 days, in contrast to other varieties, which are allowed to mature for several months, resulting in a deeper colour.

Miso can be used in almost limitless number of ways apart from miso soup.  It can be used in simmering fish, in hotpots, and mixed with vinegar to season seafood and vegetables.  Cucumber is also great seasoned with a little miso.  Try it and see!

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