In recent years, you may have read about umami, the mysterious fifth taste. If you're still having a hard time recognizing it, though, I'm going to take you right to the source. The Japanese were the first to identify this taste in dashi — the broth that is so central to their cuisine. It is made with kombu (a form of seaweed or kelp), dried bonito flakes, and water. I spike mine with sake, and the rest of the recipe carries home the Asian theme with tofu and tamari. The finished dish is a mix of tastes and textures that I think of as Japanese clams casino. When you eat it, remember that in Japanese, umami means "deliciousness." — Franklin Becker, Good Fat Cooking
In a large pot, combine the sake, kombu, and water and bring to a simmer. Remove the kombu and reserve. Add the clams to the pot, cover, and simmer until the clams open. Add the tofu, soy sauce, pine nuts, and scallions to the pot. Slice the kombu into thin strips and add it back to the pot. Simmer until the tofu is heated through. Ladle the clams with their broth into shallow bowls and serve hot.