In honor of Perennial Plate’s around-the-world tour, about local foods people eat in countries other than the US, and just because it sounded intriguing and the corn is so good right now, I present to you Daniel Klein’s recipe for Miso Corn Chowder. His photo is better than mine, so here’s the link to the recipe and photo at Perennial Plate. Follow Daniel and Mirra on Twitter (@perennialplate, @kaleandcola), and you’ll be treated to photos of their trip, plus links they like, blog posts, and other fun stuff. They are in Japan right now, eating and photographing the most amazing sushi and noodle dishes and other foods, and sharing it with their followers day by day.
Miso Corn Chowder-Daniel Klein, Perennial Plate
1 cucumber, sliced very thinly
A splash of fish sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 small clove of garlic, minced
Mix all these together in a bowl, and allow to marinate for at least an hour. They get better the longer they sit. As for the fish sauce, I know it may be an ingredient not everyone has around, and when you open the bottle, the aroma is, well, challenging. But the flavor, if used sparingly, is subtle and light, but adds a depth to the marinade. I used a small splash, but the next time I will use a bit more. Use it in stirfries, soups, on noodles, in salad dressings, work it into your standard ingredient list. Just don’t take a big whiff of it when you open the bottle.
Corn Miso Broth
5 cobs of corn, kernels removed and reserved
3 cloves of garlic
1 nub of ginger, sliced
1 T peppercorns
2 T miso paste
I broke up the cobs so they would fit in my pot, threw everything else in, covered it with water (well, sort of, corn cobs float), brought it to a boil, simmered it for an hour, and strained it. I think next time I will use more ginger, I was conservative, not knowing what a “nub” might be, I used about an inch-long piece of fresh ginger.
the reserved corn
2 sm. summer squash
1/2 c quinoa
I had these little pattypan squash, so I used those, they are similar to summer squash. I diced them up very small, the size of corn kernels or so. Saute the corn in a pan in some olive oil (maybe a tablespoon or two) and a pinch of salt, until its color brightens and it’s sunny and golden. Add the quinoa and saute, stirring, for 30 seconds or so, then add squash and your miso broth, stir, bring up to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook till the quinoa is done.
Ladle into a bowl, and garnish with the cucumbers, some chopped heirloom tomatoes, and basil leaves. I used some sweet little cherry tomatoes I had, and cut my basil into very thin chiffonnade. Also, I suggest letting the soup cool down a bit before eating, because some of the flavors are very subtle, and you don’t taste them as much until everything is at just over room temperature.
This soup is delightful and lovely, both in appearance and flavor. The first big flavor is the corn, sweet and tender but still with a bite. Then the other flavors all come dancing in, lightly, delicately, tickling new taste buds as they go. Sweet, salty, briny, earthy, and -bing!- a clean, spicy finish from the basil. If this is how Daniel cooks all the time, Mirra is a very lucky woman.
So head over to Perennial Plate (there’s a convenient link on the right side there, in my “blogroll” box), catch up on the latest blog posts of them preparing for their trip, watch the animated announcement of their world tour, and follow them on Twitter, and I’ll see you on down the Road.