Clam is one of my all-time favorite bivalve molluscs. The good ones are super briny and reminds me of the ocean. Preparing and cooking fresh live clams are actually not daunting at all. I’ve actually shared a post on how to clean out bits of sand often found in the clams. The last thing I want when I’m enjoying my clams is to bite on gritty sand with my teeth.
There are many different types of clams – white, littleneck, asari, etc. Any type will work well for this recipe. I’m using flower clams which are meaty and sweet. The shell is also thinner than the others.
Clams cook very quickly – the moment they start opening, they are pretty much cooked. Overcooking clams will result in shriveled, tough and rubbery texture so that is something to watch out for.
500g live flower clams (click here for cleaning steps)
30g unsalted butter
½ tsp cooking oil
4 to 5 cloves garlic – sliced thinly
½ piece small bird eye chilli – seeds removed for lesser heat (add more if desired)
1 tbsp mirin
½ tsp salt
125ml clam stock / chicken stock
Ground black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley (for garnishing)
Serves 2 to 3
In a large pan or skillet, add in butter, oil, garlic and chilli and turn on heat. Adding a little oil will prevent the butter from burning.
Cook over low heat until the garlic is slightly colored but not burnt.
Add in mirin, clam stock or chicken stock, turn up heat and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Add in prepared clams and cook for another 30 seconds, until the shells are fully opened, tossing them gently in the sauce. Do not overcook as they’ll turn rubbery.
Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve hot.