Instead of relying on dairy for creaminess, this corn chowder gets rich flavor and velvety texture by pureeing some of the cooked vegetables. This gives the soup body without blunting the delicate sweetness of the corn or the potatoes’ earthy notes. The recipe, inspired by “The Gaijin Cookbook” by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying, also gets umami-rich flavor not from the salt pork or bacon typically used in corn chowder, but from sweet and salty white miso.


Fresh in-season corn is, of course, best—we cut the kernels from the ears and simmer the cobs, infusing the broth with maximum flavor. Out of season, frozen corn is a decent stand-in. You won’t have cobs for simmering, but the chowder still will be good. Most mirin sold in the U.S. is “aji mirin,” which contains added sugar. Avoid brands that include glucose or corn syrup. Mirin is widely available in the international or Asian aisle of most supermarkets.


To cut the kernels from an ear of corn, stand the cob in a wide bowl. Using a chef’s knife or small serrated knife, saw down the length of the cob, rotating and repeating until all the kernels are removed. Additionally, you then can scrape the cob with the back of the knife to extract flavorful juices. To give the chowder a golden hue, stir in a pinch of ground turmeric.

Create Creamy Texture and Flavor without Cream

Corn Chowder Miso Scallions i40 Process

We often enrich soups, stews and even some sauces by pureeing a portion of its vegetables or legumes with a bit of the cooking liquid. For an especially creamy consistency, use a conventional blender or an immersion blender to puree about 1 cup cooked vegetables or beans with a bit of the cooking liquid, then return it to the pot. For chunkier results, instead of using a blender, transfer the solids and liquid to a bowl and mash with a fork.