World Cup Cuisine – Japanese Clams and Spring Onions with Miso and Mustard Sauce

Posted By Stephen

Day four in our World Cup Cuisine escapade and we are already a quarter of the way through our target of cooking the food of half the countries! Today we went for Japan, and chose a recipe that at first glance looked a little like a Japanese version of moules mariniere, but turned out quite differently.

We found the recipe in a Japanese cookbook that we have; it sounds quite quick when reading through the recipe, but there are lots of little bits that need to be done separately and then combined at the end, so it took longer than expected. It was worth it though, the flavours all worked well together and it was quite different from the sort of food that we normally cook.

When it came to the wakame (dried seaweed), we found a bag of it in our cupboard that had been there for over a year, so tried to use it all up and ended up with a small mountain of the stuff when it had rehydrated – it expands hugely. Delicious stuff though, and goes well with the clams and the miso and mustard sauce. Not sure why it isn’t wasabi rather than mustard, but that’s what the recipe says. I initially thought that they might assume that maybe we wouldn’t be able to get wasabi, but if they expect us to be able to get wakame then surely we should be able to get wasabi? Anyway.

The recipe goes like this – serves four according to the book – but we did half of this for two of us and found that we needed to cook some vegetables to go with it to make it meal-sized.

900g carpet shell clams or cockles
15ml sake
8 spring onions, green and white parts separated and chopped in half
10g dried wakame

For the dressing:
60ml shiro miso
20ml caster sugar
30ml sake
15ml rice vinegar
pinch salt
7.5ml English mustard (am sure you could use wasabi here…)

Wash the clams and discard any that stay open when tapped. Pour 1cm water into a pan and add the clams, sprinkle with the sake, cover, and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it stand for 2 minutes. Discard any shells that remain closed. Drain the shells and keep the liquid. When the shells have cooled a bit, remove the clam meat from most of them, keeping a few whole for decoration.

Cook the white parts of the spring onions for 2 minutes in boiling water, then add the green bits and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain well.

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients other than the mustard in a small pan and add 45ml of the reserved clam cooking liquid. Put onto medium heat and stir constantly, then add the mustard when the sugar has dissolved. Check for seasoning and add a little more salt if required. Let cool.

Soak the wakame in water for 10 minutes, then squeeze the excess water out of it.

Mix it all together and serve. The recipe says to serve it cold, but we had ours warm.

Jun 14th, 2010

2 Comments to 'World Cup Cuisine – Japanese Clams and Spring Onions with Miso and Mustard Sauce'

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  1. Sarah said,

    I understand there is such a thing as Japanese mustard. What book was it? I’m looking for a good Japanese cookbook.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..A hangi in Essex =-.

  2. Lizzie said,

    I love clams so much. There is a kind of Japanese mustard, perhaps it’s that?
    .-= Lizzie´s last blog ..Dim Sum in Hong Kong =-.

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