Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vietnamese Style Stir Fried Clams

Freshly steamed clams are among nature's great treasures!!  These amazing bivalves create a succulent broth with very little help.  The Vietnamese use clams and lemongrass to create wonderful street food, and this style of cooking has been used with mussels and snails also. Some crushed peanuts and herbs adds to a delightful snack!  This recipe has two steps.  A quick stir fry with the first round of seasoning, and then we will steam them in a sauce.  The clam broth combined with our soy based sauce will leave us no choice but to sop it up with some great bread.

Con Nghieu Hap- Vietnamese Steamed Clams
5 lbs. Littleneck Clams (about 50 each)
2 Thai Chilis minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp ginger minced
2 tbsp canola oil

3 tbsp thick soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Vietnamese coriander

First, make sure the clams are clean.  Discard any open or broken clams.  Place them in cold water in the refrigerator and leave for about 20-30 minutes.  Then remove from the cold water allowing the dirt to remain on the bottom of the bowl.  Place them in a new bowl and cover with a damp towel.

While the clams soak, combine the ingredients for the stir fry sauce.  

In a hot wok or larger pan, add canola oil and stir fry garlic, ginger, and chilis.  When they become very fragrant, add the clams and toss to coat.  Pour in the sauce and gently shake clams to coat.  Cover and steam for about 10 minutes, or until all the clams have opened.  

Finished with a generous helping of the chopped herbs and some crusty bread!! 

In South Louisiana summer is upon us, and we tend to look for refreshing beverages.  Today's drink is a nice crisp gewurztraminer from Pacific Rim.  A grape that originates from Alsace,  gewurztraminer has a low acidity, and when trying to think of comparable flavors just imagine ginger and peach.  Pacific Rim is a winery from the Columbia Valley in Washington where this grape is now heavily marketed.  A rather sweet and summery wine, it paired up nicely with the clams.

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