Clear soup with clams
The multiple layers of patterning on fresh clams are simply mesmerizing to the eye. Whenever I find good clams I cannot help but buy at least a handful. I can immediately think of half a dozen easy clam recipes, but one of my favourite is clear clam soup. Super easy and using a minimum number of ingredients, this great dish is ready in as little as 10 minutes. Umami rich sake transforms the humble broth, giving it a magnificent depth of taste, while the zest of lemon and spring onions enhance the superb aroma.
This soup is a perfect treat for cold evenings and is delightfully moreish. The fishmonger should already have de-gritted the clams, but if you are uncertain you may need to remove any remaining sand yourself before cooking. To do this, mix 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to make salt water, then immerse the clams. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep in a cool place out of the sun for 2-3 hours.
- Place the clams, sake and water in a pot, then cook on a medium heat until the shells open. Do not stir.
- Turn off the heat and gently skim off any scum with a spoon.
- Add soy sauce and salt to taste.
- Serve immediately with spring onion and lemon peel.
Prepared by Akemi Yokoyama