Miso Fish Chowder
This twist on New England clam chowder features a lighter broth that gets its depth from caramelized miso and smoky bacon, and its briny seafood flavor from bottled clam juice. New potatoes are in season during summer months and have tender, thin skins, but peeled Yukon Golds are a great alternative. To ensure flaky, tender fish, it is gently poached in the broth during the last five minutes of cooking. For a meatless chowder, simply omit the bacon and add a few pinches of smoked paprika in its place.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1tablespoon neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
- 4ounces bacon (3 to 4 slices), sliced crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1celery stalk, diced
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
- ¼cup white miso
- 2(8-ounce) bottles clam juice
- 1pound small new potatoes, quartered
- 1thyme sprig
- ½cup heavy cream
- ½cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 ½pounds center-cut cod, or other flaky white fish, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
- Crusty bread or oyster crackers, for serving
Step 1In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Step 2Add butter, leek and celery to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add miso and cook, stirring and mashing with a spoon, until well incorporated and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Add clam juice, potatoes, thyme sprig and 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil over high, stirring to lift up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 3Stir in cream and half of the scallions, and bring to a gentle simmer. Season fish with salt and add to pot. Gently poach until it is just cooked through and flaky, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and discard thyme sprig.
Step 4Divide chowder in bowls and garnish with the crispy bacon and remaining scallions. Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers.