White Miso Clam Chowder

Soybean paste and dashi broth add an umami base note to the traditional New England stew.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    40 minutes


By Osamu Yoshikawa

Published on May 9, 2024

White miso, the Japanese fermented soybean paste, boosts countless recipes with its nutty, funky umami—and a little goes a long way. In this white miso clam chowder recipe from Osamu Yoshikawa, the sixth-generation owner of bean-to-bottle soy sauce company Inoue Honten in Nara, Japan, the ingredient’s concentrated and complex saltiness beautifully balances the richness of the milky broth.

Featured in “Meet the Makers Preserving the Past in Nara” by Megan Zhang.


  • One 10-oz. can whole clams
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 thick bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, cut into ½-in. cubes
  • 1 cup dashi
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. white miso
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


Step 1

To a medium pot set over medium heat, add the clams with their juices and the white wine. Cover and cook until the clams shrink slightly, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a small bowl. Pour the liquid into another small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove.

Step 2

In the empty pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and the fat has mostly rendered, about 6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, and potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the dashi and reserved clam broth and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 5–10 minutes.

Step 3

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and miso, then add to the chowder along with the reserved clams and stir to combine. Season with black pepper, then ladle into serving bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.

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