Clear Clam Soup for Doll's Festival or Okuizome (Symbolic First Meal Ritual)

Clear Clam Soup for Doll's Festival or Okuizome (Symbolic First Meal Ritual)

With the fresh ichiban dashi broth from kombu and bonito flakes. Use broccolini for Doll's Festival, or mitsuba when broccolini is not in season.

Ingredients: 3 servings

Hamaguri clam (1 large or 2 small per serving)
Broccolini (or mitsuba)
Temarifu or hanafu (colored dried wheat gluten in the shape of balls or flowers)
Yuzu citrus peel
to taste
Dashi soup stock:
550 ml
5 cm
Bonito flakes
10 g
* Sake
1 tablespoon
* Soy sauce
1 teaspoon
* Salt
1/4 teaspoon or more
For clear soup, ideally, the dashi stock should be made from fresh kombu and bonito flakes ("ichiban dashi").


1. For the broccolini, select 3 of the thinnest flowers from among the bunch, cut off the stalk and rinse. (Use the stalk for a stewed side dish.)
2. Soak the hamaguri clams in salt water, set them in a dark place (in the sink) for about 2 hours, or cover with a lid, to degrit, then clean off the shells under running water.
3. To make the broth, wipe down the kombu with a damp towel, heat in a pot of water, then remove the kombu right before it comes to a boil.
4. Add the bonito flakes to the pot, bring to a boil again, then as soon as it comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then strain. (If you don't have bonito flakes, add 1 teaspoon dashi soup stock granules instead.)
5. Put the hamaguri clams into the broth, then as soon as they open, transfer them to individual serving bowls. (If you boil them too long, the flavor of the hamaguri clams will become strong and the soup will become cloudy.)
6. After removing the clams, add the * seasoning ingredients to taste (to adjust the saltiness), then right before serving, add the broccolini and colored and shaped dried gluten and bring to a boil.
7. Pour the clear soup into the bowls, add the broccolini and gluten, and float a piece of yuzu citrus peel on top.

Story Behind this Recipe

This is the clear clam soup I make every year for Doll's Festival. Upon a quick search, I found that my dashi soup stock is different from most (apparently, many people use only kombu dashi). I'm posting this recipe to share my method for preparing the dashi.