The sweetness of young spring onions goes nicely with salty miso and clams in this dish: The little bulbs absorb the sauce an then explode with flavor with every bite. If you have some new potatoes on hand, halve them and toss them in the pan along with the clams.
- 24 littleneck or other small clams
- 2 dozen spring onions, preferably with smaller bulbs (1/2 to 1 1/2 inches across)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- Cooked rice, for serving
White miso is available at Asian specialty stores and some supermarkets.
Put the clams in a bowl under cold running water. Let the water run over them while you continue.
Trim the green tops from the onion bulbs and thinly slice enough to fill 1/4 cup, and reserve. Peel the bulbs like you would an onion, leaving some of the root. Halve only the largest bulbs, if any. Scrub the clams.
Heat the butter in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat until the foam mostly subsides (the butter will start to brown, which is ok). Add the bulbs and cook, stirring, until they start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. If the butter starts to turn dark brown, reduce the heat a bit.
Stir in 1/4 cup water, the mirin and the miso. Add the clams and turn the heat to medium-high. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in most of the reserved sliced greens. Ladle the clams and their broth into 4 bowls, discarding any clams that don't open. Garnish with the rest of the greens over the top and serve with cooked rice.