Clams make great photos. The texture and colour of the shells are beautifully intricate. The best part however, is how delicious and easy to cook they are. It takes no time at all to prepare and even quicker to cook. In summer, my friends and I love to head down to the beach and dig for clams. Nothing beats hand-picked fresh clams.
Clams are even self-cleaning, just soak them in clean water and watch them spit out sand and grit. An hour later, rinse them out and they’re ready! Very cooperative aren’t they?
Aside from spaghetti vongole, this dish is one of my favourite ways to eat clams. Spicy, aromatic clams are great eaten on its own or with a serve of steamed jasmine rice or a rustic loaf of bread. This time round, the hubby just had some bread to soak up the sauce, while we picked on the fleshy clams and washed it all down with a chilled, dry chardonnay. The simple enjoyment of life.
STIR FRIED CHILLI CLAMS
adapted from Neil Perry’s Balance and Harmony
- 1.5 lb / 650g clams, cleaned (otherwise known an pippis in Oz, or lala in South East Asia)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- 2 inches of fresh ginger, shredded
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 large red chilli, sliced finely
- 1 tsp roasted chilli paste or dried shrimp chilli paste (can be purchased from asian grocery)
- a sprig of coriander leave (cilantro)
- dash of fish sauce (optional)
Heat sesame oil in a hot wok. Add ginger and garlic, fry till fragrant, be careful not to burn the aromatics.
Add clams to wok, drizzle in the rice wine, pop in the sliced chilli and chilli paste. Stir to mix well, cover wok and cook till the clams open up. About 5 – 7 minutes. Season to taste with a dash of fish sauce if required – most of the time, the clams do not need much added salt.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.