If you like shellfish, you'll love my sumptuous Thai clams. Served either as an appetizer or an entree, this clam recipe provides all the taste and none of the fat of the usual cream-based shell-fish dishes. These clams can be made mild to spicy, as desired. Includes a recipe for homemade Thai yellow curry sauce. Enjoy with steamed rice, over noodles - or, if desired, a loaf of french bread or garlic toast to soak up the flavorful juices.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 lb. fresh clams (or enough to serve 4 people as an appetizer, or 2 as a main entree)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3-4 inch lengths
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (to serve)
- optional: 1 small red chili, deseeded and minced (to serve)
- 1 lime, cut into quarters (to serve)
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1/4 cup white wine (or white cooking wine)
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and minced, OR 1-3 tsp. chili paste
- 2 shallots (or 1 small cooking onion)
- 1 thumb-size piece of galangal (see Glossary) or ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. ground coriander (dried)
- 1 Tbsp. tomato ketchup, OR 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste + 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg (or substitute cinnamon)
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1-2 kaffir lime leaves
- juice of 1/2 lime
- Rinse clams well and place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
- "Bruise" the lemongrass by making superficial cuts along each 3-4 inch length with a knife and then bending the pieces (this releases the fragrance and juices). Reserve. For more on buying & cooking with lemongrass, see: All About Lemongrass: Your Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking with Lemongrass.
- Place 1-2 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the following curry sauce ingredients: red chili, shallots (or onion), galangal (or ginger), and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add the white wine plus the lemongrass stalks, coriander, ketchup, nutmeg, fish sauce, turmeric, brown sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer 3-5 minutes, or until shallots or onions begin to soften.
- Add the coconut milk, stirring to incorporate. Turn down the heat to medium, or until sauce is simmering nicely.
- Add the clams, stir, and cover. Allow clams to "steam cook" in the curry sauce for 2-3 minutes, or until most have opened.
- Remove lid and add the lime juice. Stir well and taste-test the sauce, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too sour or bitter for your taste, add 1 loose Tbsp. palm or brown sugar. If too spicy, add a little more coconut milk.
- Pour the clams and sauce from the frying pan or wok onto a serving platter (preferably one with raised sides - or a large shallow bowl will work too). Sprinkle with fresh basil and minced fresh red chili (if using), and place quarters of fresh cut limes on the side. Serve with rice or a crusty French loaf. Pair with a glass of your favorite white wine, and enjoy!