We tend to get into recipe ruts. We discover a new dish or a new type of preparation and we’re fixated on that for a while. When we first discovered clams from Taylor Shellfish, we were in the middle of a clam frenzy. Then it was mussels. Then fall hit and it was all squash all the time. Then Thanksgiving and turkey and stuffing and OH MY HEAVENS THE SWEET POTATOES! But now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re trying to switch things up a bit. Luckily, as part of the BlogHer Food conference, we got a free copy of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.
We don’t cook a lot of Asian dishes. Most of them require just a few more non-local ingredients than we normally buy. However, our whole goal is to cook local without depriving ourselves of delicious foods. So even though this recipe uses two non-local ingredients (black bean sauce and chili garlic paste), we decided to make it anyway. The main focus of the recipe is on the clams, and after a month of Thanksgiving type dishes, we needed a bit of spice in our culinary lives. The occasional non-local ingredient is just fine if it helps keep our passion for local foods alive, which this recipe definitely has. We’re now on the hunt for a recipe for both black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce so we can make them at home.
Clams Sauteed in Garlic and Black Bean Sauce, adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
- 2 lbs clams from Oyster Bill at Taylor Shellfish
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 6 small, whole, dried chili peppers
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
- 3 Tbsp black bean sauce
- 3 tsp chili garlic paste
- 1 cup stock (veggie or seafood)
- 2 Tbsp dry sherry
- 1 Tbsp minced chives (garnish)
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and carefully dump the clams in. Let them sit in the water for 10-20 minutes.
- Remove the clams into a collander and wash, discarding any with broken shells.
- Heat a wok over medium high heat and add the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chilies, garlic, and ginger.
- After 15 seconds, add the black bean sauce and the chili paste.
- After an additional 30 seconds, add the stock and the wine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, add the clams, and cover.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the clams open.
- Remove the clams to a separate bowl and cover with a towel to keep warm.
- Turn the heat up to high and reduce the sauce for 1-3 minutes, or until thickened.
- Spoon the sauce over the clams, reserving some of the sauce to mix with rice or emmer.
Notes: This is going to be one of our staple recipes for clams. The flavor was amazing. We used an extra chili pepper in the mix which made for fabulous heat. As with most sauces that need to reduce, this sauce took a little longer than I expected to thicken. I was just about to give up on it, when it all of a sudden just happened. I probably cooked the sauce for a solid 6-7 minutes instead of 3 minutes, but
throwing the towel over the bowl of clams really helped keep them warm.
I served the sauce over some Emmer and even had enough sauce leftover to cook some extra emmer the next day for lunch. This dish is very healthy, other than a bit too much sodium from the two sauces, but using homemade stock (made without salt) really helps moderate the salt in this dish. If you’re not serving these clams with rice or emmer, have some crusty bread around to sop up the sauce leftover when you’re done with the clams. The whole dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare (and that includes the time to soak the clams!).