Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Miso Clam Chowder

Miso clam chowder
Something special happens to the taste buds whenever miso is added to any recipe. Miso, a traditional Japanese food, is made from fermented soybeans and comes in several styles. This is an especially nice pairing of clams and white miso (also known as shiromiso). At one time you would need to go to Asian or health food markets for this exquisite ingredient. But, due to surging popularity, you can now find it in your local grocer – look in refrigerator section. Miso is a quick way to add exotic flavor to your everyday cooking. Give it try!

  • 1 Tb unsalted butter
  • 3 oz chopped pancetta 
  • ½ C chopped onion
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig thyme 
  • 1 C dry white wine 
  • 1 lb russet potatoes
  • 2 C low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 2 Tb white miso. 
  • 12-15 scrubbed littleneck clams
  • Tabasco
  • flat-leaf parsley
Melt 1 Tb unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 oz chopped pancetta (Italian bacon). Cook until slightly rendered, 5-6 minutes. 
Uncooked pancetta

Cooking pancetta....mmmmm!
Add ½ C chopped onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 sprig thyme. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 4-5 minutes. Add 1 C dry white wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 2 minutes. Add 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes, 2 C low-salt chicken broth, 1 C heavy cream, and 2 Tb white miso. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 25-30 minutes. Add 12-15 scrubbed littleneck clams
Scrubbed littleneck clams
Cover and cook until clams open, 5-7 minutes. Season with Tabasco; garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley. This will serve 4 as a starter soup or 2 as an entrée portion.

Now that you have your miso – watch for more recipes on my blog using this special ingredient. I use miso as a unique salt. It adds depth to even simple preparations. Try it as an addition to vegetables, such as green beans. Miso is one of my favorites – and will become your favorite taste treat as well.



  1. Hello....
    Where do you find the pancetta?

    1. Pancetta can usually be found in most grocers - often in the deli section - ask - if not check pre-sliced sandwich meats near prosciutto. Any italian grocer or deli would have it. When you do find it...buy a bunch...it freezes beautifully. Substitutes: salt pork or thick cut unsmoked bacon, (or boil smoked bacon 2-3 min to get smokiness out - dry and then cook).

  2. Great pictures Larue! It's like I can smell and taste the food right off the page!

  3. So very glad you like them! Thanks for the encouragement. I have been cooking for decades but the photography is definitely a new challenge.

    The soup is amazing....a wonderful twist on clam chowder. I actually got the clams,cleaned and frozen, in vacuum-sealed bag from Seaside Market in Cardiff - so easy!