Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Miso Udon with Pipi Clams, Wakame and Mushrooms

I was really craving clams (weirdo) and had a ton of miso left over from that time when I went healthy for a week after visiting a health retreat and made miso tempeh rice balls, so the natural answer was miso soup with clams, which, apparently, is a thing. A very pretty thing.

Kinda decided to go nuts on the soup fillings because why not, and making miso soup meant using a lot of Japanese ingredients that I've never worked with. Like instant dashi stock. And wakame seaweed. We also included enoki and shitake mushrooms, scallions, and udon noodles for good measure. Went with pipi clams because that's what they had at the local fishmonger on Victoria St, but that's not the traditional clam used in miso clam soup. I always say, though, a clam's a clam. No?
Give those clams a good soak in some salt water before cooking so they spit out all of the sand and stuff they've been sucking on. Assuming your clams are alive. If they're not alive and not frozen (are frozen clams a thing you can buy?) you just got owned.

So, add two little sachets of instant dashi to a bunch of water, and add your clams and mushrooms once it's boiling. Miso soup literally takes like two minutes to make. Make your udon first, drain and rinse it in cold water, and add it to your soup bowls. You'll pour the soup over the noodles before serving.
The wakame that we found at our local Japanese grocer, Hinoki Japanese Pantry, came cut and dried. Soak it for a few minutes in cold water, and it'll to blow up in size. Add it to your soup near the end of cooking. At the same time, add a bunch of miso paste, to taste. There are so many kinds of miso, but I think the most versatile is white. Mix your paste with a bit of broth before adding it to the pot, because miso is hard to break up and will be impossible to de-clump once added. 
After your clams have opened up, mushrooms are tender and miso, seaweed and scallions are added, ladel the soup over your noodles. Once you sufficiently instagram that shiz (new user here, follow me!), give it a good chopstick mix, and go to town. If you're cooking for just two, you'll be eating miso soup for dayz. Have fun with that.

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