Neither mussels nor leeks are native to Japan, but both are enormously popular among those Japanese who live abroad. In this chowder, the “foreign” broth from cooking the mussels enriches a traditional Japanese stock that’s later flavored by leeks and thickened with bean paste. All together it makes for a memorable cross-cultural soup.
With a brush, scrub the mussels well and remove their beards. Place the shells in a
Pour the broth through a cloth- or paper-lined strainer or colander into a
Remove the mussels from their steamed open shells, making sure that all traces of beard and grit are removed. If the mussels are larger than
Slit the white end of the leek lengthwise in a deep X and rinse under cold water to remove any sandy soil. Cut across the leek at
Rinse the flat-leafed parsley under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Tear off the leaves and chop coarsely. Serve the soup hot, garnishing each bowl with a bit of the chopped parsley.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.