Feb 1, 2016

Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce | Wok Wednesdays

Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce

These stir-fried clams with spicy bean sauce are so flavorful and rich tasting. The sauce is so amazing, I wish I could bottle it.

What's so fascinating is that it is comprised of just a few ingredients: chicken broth, bean sauce, soy sauce, shallots, garlic, ginger, and a tiny Thai chili that is minced, seeds and all. As the clams are simmered in the sauce, it's transformed into a sauce of which I wanted every last ounce.


Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce

As with this lobster dish, this was my first time cooking with fresh clams. First I bought some clams at the local Korean market, but they wrapped them up in double plastic bags, and even though the ride from the store to my house was only 5 minutes, by the time I was ready to do the stir fry, 3/4 of the clams had opened and would not close. Little did I know, clams need to breathe!

Luckily, I knew that you should discard any opened clams if they do not close back up with a gentle squeeze. I took them all out to the trash and tossed them. Thank goodness they were inexpensive.

Seriously though, this shouldn't be that hard!

The next day, determined to make this dish, I prepped all of the ingredients at home and set up my mise en place before heading out to one if the nicest (actually the only and the most expensive) fish markets in town. Without my asking, they packed up the littleneck clams in a plastic bag with some ice, placed the plastic bag in a paper bag, and then gently folded the plastic over the paper to create an open environment for the clams to breathe. Then they placed the bag into another open bag with handles. I had brought along a cooler with an ice pack to transport my precious cargo home, but clearly I didn't need it.

Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce

I rinsed the clams in several changes of water and scrubbed them the minute I got them home to remove any grit, and immediately stir fried the clams. This time, none of the clams opened prior to cooking them, and only two of them remained closed (you're supposed to toss any clams that are open prior to cooking, and any that remain closed after cooking). Woo hoo!

These clams were selected for Wok Wednesdays in honor of Chinese New Year. Did you know that clams represent prosperity when served on Chinese New Year's Eve? Just be sure to let them breathe on the way home!

Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce

I made these clams for lunch. While this recipe is supposed to serve two with rice, I ate them all myself. First I ate the clams, and then poured the remaining sauce over a small amount of sticky rice. Fortunately, Mr. Kitchen does not like clams. Or spicy food. More for me. I am not ashamed.

The recipe for this dish can be found > here. < I did slightly increase the ginger, garlic, and Thai chili by just a bit.

I highly recommend making these clams. They are incredible. Just make sure you buy your clams from a reputable fishmonger.

Now that I've semi-conquered clams, I see mussels, my all time favorite, in my future. Stay tuned.

This recipe is from Grace Young's Stir Frying from the Sky's Edge, 2010.

11 comments:

  1. I could eat the entire dish too! I'm addicted to the sauce and clam combo.

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    1. It was so good Grace. Thanks for such an amazing recipe!

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  2. Oh yes, I wouldn't share them either. They sound delicious!!

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  3. Gorgeous presentation of the clams and that fabulous sauce! I bet my sister would love this recipe. She lives in clam heaven. I'll send it to her. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much! It's really delicious!

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  4. I did not realize clams needed to breathe either. My supermarket put them in a plastic bag, then wrapped the bag in freezer paper... Luckily, I did not have any issues with them opening beforehand, or staying closed after cooking. Gorgeous photos - always look forward to seeing your pictures.

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    1. You are so lucky! Maybe it was how they stored them at the grocer too, although they were closed when I bought them.. =) So happy I stuck with it! Thanks for the kind comments.

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  5. I've never purchased clams before, but I would have been so mad if all my clams opened before I got home. Glad it worked out for you at another fish market! I'm determined to make a clam dish at home, but sadly am the only one in the family who likes them. Oh well, more for me!

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  6. I just recently cooked with clams for the first time, and it won't be the last -- these are just beautiful, and I love all of the flavors, I'm sure the light clams soak up all the delicious flavor!!

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