Corn Chowder With Miso and Salmon. Photo for The Washington Post by Scott Suchman

The alluring duo of miso and a sweet vegetable has me under its spell. I can’t resist stirring a touch of the fermented bean paste into a pan of sautéed green peas, for example, or whisking a spoonful into a dressing for roasted sweet potatoes.

The miso rounds out the vegetables’ sweetness with its savory, salty funk, turning a simple side into an excitingly complex flavor experience. What better way to make the most of the tail-end of summer corn season? Go ahead, stir a tablespoon or so of miso into a skillet of fresh corn next time you are cooking it. You’ll quickly see why I’m so enamored.

Corn Chowder With Miso and Salmon

6 servings (makes scant 11 cups)

Here I ran with the unbeatable corn-miso combination, turning it into a chowder with tender bites of salmon, making it a satisfying meal-in-a-bowl.

Start by sautéing onion, bell pepper, celery and potato in a soup pot, then add a quart of broth (chicken or vegetable) and simmer to cook the potato, which thickens the soup once it’s pureed. (Use a yellow bell pepper to keep the soup’s color gorgeously golden.)


Then add most of the corn – just-picked fresh is best, but frozen will work, too – and cook it until tender, before pureeing the mixture into a smooth and creamy soup.

The final stage, where you stir in the miso and simmer the salmon as well as the rest of the corn kernels, sets you up for an unforgettable meal. Served topped with a generous spray of fresh scallions and a drizzle of hot sauce, it’s a hearty chowder with a unique flavor that’s utterly enchanting.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.

NOTE: To easily and cleanly husk the corn, dip the corn cobs, husks and all, in water, until thoroughly moistened. Microwave on HIGH until very hot, 10 to 12 minutes.

When they are cool enough to handle, using a sharp knife, cut crosswise through the husk and cob and 1 to 2 inches from the stem end (opposite from the end with the tassel of silk). Hold the silk end, then push the corn cob out the other end. Discard any stray silks.

Working with one ear at a time, lay a cob on the board and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob, rotating the cob as needed to remove the kernels. Repeat with the remaining corn.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion (10 ounces), diced

1 large russet potato (11 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups no-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth

8 ears sweet corn (about 5 cups/22 ounces total)

1/4 cup white miso

12 ounces salmon fillet, skinless, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 large scallions, thinly sliced


Hot sauce, such as sriracha, for serving

In a medium soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, potato, pepper, celery, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the potato is tender, about 5 minutes. Add all but the 2 cups of reserved corn, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth, or allow the mixture to cool, about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a regular blender and blend in batches.

Return the pureed soup to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the miso, the reserved 2 cups of corn kernels and the salmon and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until the corn is tender and the salmon is no longer translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt, if needed.

Serve with scallions and hot sauce, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving (1 3/4 cups) | Calories: 295; Total Fat: 10 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 35 mg; Sodium: 290 mg; Carbohydrates: 37 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 18 g

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