This is a Thai-inspired dish which is very simple and quick to make. I adapted the recipe from my book for party food and appertizers. I do not often eat spicy food, yet this dish is a good choice and pleases my stomach when the weather in this hot island gets cool (during rainy season after a heavy rain, the air may get cooled down).
I am not so sure about the yellow bean paste used in the recipe, however, I guessed it is a kind of yellow soy bean paste, so I used the spicy soy bean paste I got at home. Since the paste is already spicy, I reduced the chilli called for in the ingredients.
What I love the most from this dish is Thai basil. This kind of basil is used very popularly in Vietnamese dishes, both in cooking and eating raw as a condiment vegetable to other foods. So when you find the fresh clams sold in your neighborhood, remember this dish to enjoy another great Asian flavor.
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
-1kg fresh clams
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tbs soy bean paste
- 3-4 small red chillies, seeded and chopped
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- Plentiful of Thai basil leaves
- Wash and scrub the clams. Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan, add the garlic and ginger, stir-fry over a medium heat for 30 seconds, then add the shallots and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add the clams to the pan. Using a spatula, turn them a few times to coat all over with the oil. Stir in the soy bean paste and half of the chopped chillies.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes, or until all the clams are open. Discard any that remain shut. You may need to add a little water. Adjust the seasoning with the fish sauce and a little sugar.
- Finally add the basil leaves and stir to mix. Transfer the clams to serving plates and garnish with the remaining red chillies and basil leaves. Serve immediately while still hot.