The Microwave: Tokyo Clam Chowder

Thursday August 18, 2016

White clam chowder remains one of the classic American soups, once regional, now transcontinental. There are Santa Cruz boardwalk clam chowders, Miami clam chowder, Nantucket clam chowder, Fire Island clam chowder, Chicago clam chowder, and of course, a New York clam chowder and  Boston clam chowder.

I read an article in the New York Times restaurant reviews about the opening of a new uptown posh Japanese restaurant. In the review was described the white clam chowder which was made with soy milk instead of cream. That was all it took and this version of the American classic was born for the microwave, so it might be the fastest clam chowder ever. Don’t skip the instant potato flakes; that is the thickener instead of flour.


Equipment: 2-quart Pyrex or ceramic casserole or 2-quart batter bowl (my new favorite)

Microwave Wattage: 1,100 to 1,300

Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes

Standing Time: 3 minutes

Serves 2


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 medium white new potato, peeled if desired, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups plain soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons instant potato flakes
  • 1 (6 1/2-ounce) can chopped clams, undrained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons miso (I use white miso)


1. In a 2-quart casserole, place the butter and microcook 30 seconds to melt. Stir in the onion, celery, and potato. Partially cover with plastic wrap or the lid. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes, until the potato is tender.

2. Add the broth, soy milk, parsley, and potato flakes. Cover with waxed paper and microcook on HIGH for 5 to 7 minutes, until bubbly. Stir once halfway through cooking. Imediately add the clams and their juice, and miso paste; stir to dissolve in the very hot soup. Cover and let stand 3 minutes. Serve immediately divided between 2 soup bowls.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cooking, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2010, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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