Thai-Inspired Steamer Clams

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion and sauté until fragrant and the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the white wine and deglaze the pot. Next, add the the clam juice and coconut milk and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Add the clams, cover, and steam until the clams have opened, about 2-3 minutes. Uncover the pot and add the tomatoes and cilantro, and stir.

Meanwhile, turn on the broiler. Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise, drizzle with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Broil until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Serve large chunks of it with the clams in their broth.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced serrano chile
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds littleneck clams in shells, scrubbed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Thai basil

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic sauté for 1 minute or until golden. Add chile sauté 10 seconds. Stir in wine and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Bring to a boil. Add clams cover and cook 7 minutes or until shells open. Add basil cover and cook for 1 minute. Discard any unopened shells. Remove clams from pan with a slotted spoon. Serve with sauce.

Thai-style Steamed Clams

A few weeks ago, when my friend Eat A Duck I Must came to shoot my cookbook promo video for me, I made her a killer pot of Penang Assam laksa.

After she left, all the remaining spices had been sitting in my fridge in a dark corner&mdashlemongrass, bird&rsquos eye chilies, galangal, and lime juice.

Last week, my market was having a sale of Manila clams and I thought about a great recipe that would make use of the spices.

I made this yummy Thai-style steamed clams&hellip

This steamed clams dish is everything Thai food is all about: hot, sour, aromatic, and addictive. Other than the spices, the secret ingredient is coconut water.

You can get canned coconut water at Asian stores, however, water is fine as the clams are naturally briny and flavorful.

I must say that the coconut water does add a subtle sweetness to the overall dish, and pairs perfectly with the exotic aromas of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

Try this Thai steamed clams recipe the next time you have some Thai ingredients at hand.

I am certain you will enjoy the great taste.

Steamer Clams, New England Style

Steamer clams are sweet, tender and slightly briny and make a delicious appetizer simply served with a little melted butter and fresh lemon.

Steamers (also known as soft-shell Atlantic clams), are easily identified by the siphon that protrudes from one side of the shell. The siphon has also given them the nickname of “long-necks.”

Their shells are not actually soft, just a good deal thinner than hard-shelled varieties like quahogs, littlenecks and cherrystones. We like them cooked and served in the traditional New England style. They’re very easy to prepare and make a wonderful prelude to a fresh seafood dinner.

Tips for Preparing Steamer Clams:

Because soft-shell clams don’t close tightly like their hard-shell cousins, they might contain a little sand. To get them clean before cooking, place them in a large bowl and cover with salted water – 1/3 cup of salt per quart of water, dissolved.

A two to three hour soak should be adequate. Drain and rinse lightly under cold water.

Once the clams are cooked, handle them gently – they can fall out of the shells rather easily.

Thai-Inspired Steamer Clams - Recipes

Eileen’s steamed clams in spicy red sauce. Blogfinger photo © 2014.

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @ Blogfinger.net Re-post.

Sauce :

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes

1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce

1/2 cup salt-free chicken broth or clam broth

1 6 1/2 ounce can chopped clams, drained

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (a garnish)

In a 5 quart Dutch oven heat oil on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onion wilts. Add garlic and simmer for 1 minute. Add whole tomatoes and mash them in the pot. Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes.

Leave sauce on low heat while you prepare the pasta and the fresh clams.

See directions below for cooking the clams and assembling the dish.

Sprinkle parsley on sauce when ready to serve.

Cook pasta (I use linguine) according to package instructions, 1/4 pound per person. (Cook the pasta and the clams at the same time because they both take approx. 10-12 minutes to cook)

1 50 ct bag little neck clams (We got ours at Wegmans.)

Clean clams: (This step can be done while the sauce is cooking.)

Fill a large bowl with cool water, 1/4 cup of ground corn meal. Stir. Place clams in the water (the water should cover the clams) and let them sit for 1 hour. This step causes the clams to disgorge any sand they may have ingested. Discard any clams that are cracked. If a clam is open, tap it gently on the counter top—- if it doesn’t close, discard it.

Remove clams from bowl by lifting them up out of the water so that any sand in the bowl stays at the bottom. Place clams in a colander and rinse them with cool water.

Check again to see if any are cracked or open.

Steam clams:

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot or small onion, minced

1 cup salt-free chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine or clam broth

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a 5 quart pot, heat oil on medium. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add clams and cover the pot, lowering the heat to medium-low. After 5 minutes shake the pot so the clams cook more evenly. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the clams open. As they begin to open, remove them from the pot and set them aside in a dish. The reason for removing the clams from the pot is so they don’t overcook and become tough.

Assembling the dish:

Place a 1/2 cup of sauce at the bottom of a wide individual pasta bowl. Next put 1/4 pound pasta on the sauce. Place half the cooked clams on the pasta. Then ladle more sauce on top of the clams. Sprinkle parsley on each assembled bowl.

Thai Clams in a Coconut, Ginger & Lime Broth

If you like Thai food, you’re in for a treat with this recipe for Thai Clams in a Coconut, Ginger & Lime Broth! I discovered Thai food when I was in college and was utterly intoxicated by the layers of flavor and fascinating new ingredients. Later on, I attempted to make at-home versions of some of my favorite dishes, but I invariably relied on ready mixed curry pastes like this one because I wasn’t confident enough to cook from scratch. Also, I had no idea what I was doing. Yup, I ended up running a food blog after a childhood spent living off anything that came out of the freezer and got dropped in a fryer. Weird that’s the way life took me!

Anyway, fast forward several years post-college and I was no longer fearful in the kitchen after teaching myself to cook through a lot of trials and plenty of errors! If you’re following the AIP or need to avoid nightshades, however, Thai food becomes pretty tricky without being able to use chilis. Aside from being a major ingredient in all Thai curry pastes, losing chili means losing the heat that is so crucial in Thai food to balance out the other key elements of flavor: sweet, salty and sour. But I have a few tricks up my sleeves!

While this recipe for Thai Clams is lacking chilis to make it AIP friendly and nightshade free, it’s definitely not lacking in flavor! It’s a simple dish that builds layers by first drawing out the fragrance of its aromatics, then infuses them into a sweet-sour-salty coconut milk broth that is simmered and reduced to concentrate that deliciousness. When the clams are added at the end, they release their own liquid into the broth, so reducing the coconut milk first does two things: it gives the seasonings time to infuse the broth and it prevents the broth from getting too watery once the clams are added. We like to devour the clams then drink up all the delicious, bright and briny broth with a spoon.

Instead of mincing the fresh ginger and garlic, I like to slice them both finely with my mandoline: this creates a lovely mellow sweetness from the garlic and leaves you with pieces of ginger that pop with a gentle heat when you bite into them. For an extra kick at the end, I like to sprinkle the clams with thinly sliced radishes for extra crunch and, again, a little heat – depending of course on the hotness of your radishes!

A quick note: here in Northern Arizona – where the nearest Asian market is pretty much in Las Vegas – it can be tricky to get my mitts on fresh Thai basil. That would absolutely be the best basil to use, but when I can’t find it, I’ll substitute normal fresh Italian basil, then add a teaspoon or so of dried Thai basil leaves to get a hint of the licorice-like flavor of the Thai variety. It’s not perfect, but it will do, especially if you add a little fresh mint, too!

PS – if you too miss the convenience of a ready made Thai curry paste and want to enjoy an AIP & nightshade free version, check out the Thai Green Curry Paste recipe in my cookbook, Nourish. It’s a life saver when it comes to having a flavor booster ready-to-grab in the fridge! It can be the base of everything from a traditional style curry to a bombass vegetable soup recipe and is a great twist to add to something simple like a chicken salad.

15 Ways to Cook With Clams

Clams are in the spotlight with our best clam recipes collection. We've got fantastic ideas here for delicious ways to prepare and enjoy this popular shellfish. With recipes like buttery baked clam appetizers and clam dips to clams steamed in beer, Italian-style linguine with clams, stir-fried clams in black bean sauce, and of course, classic clam chowders, you'll find recipes here for cooking fresh, live clams, plus several that use canned clams.

When using fresh, live clams, it's best to cook with them the day that you buy them. At the fishmonger's, look for live clams that smell sweet, without any fishy odor. They should have a pleasant sea aroma.

Clean them before cooking by thoroughly scrubbing the outsides of shells with a stiff brush. Then place in the fridge, covered in fresh, cold water. Clams will self-clean by filtering the water through their shells, pushing out much of the salt and sand they may have collected.

Always shuck (open) clams over a bowl, to catch all the wonderful clam liquor, which can be used in sauces. Clams cook quickly, so this seafood is best cooked gently over low heat, just until the shells open, when the meat will be tenderest (overcooked clams can become tough). Discard any clams with unopened shells after cooking.

8 Secrets For a Moist & Juicy Roast Turkey

There’s no better way to cook mussels and clams than steaming, and the reason is simple. When these shellfish cook, they release flavorful juices. If you steam them with a small amount of liquid, like wine, the juices drip down to the bottom of the pot and combine with the steaming liquid to become a shellfish broth with incredible flavor. The resulting dish—shellfish served in its own broth—is so tasty and easy to prepare that the hardest thing about it for most people is finding good, fresh shellfish.

Closed shells are a sign of freshness

When shopping for mussels and clams, consider size and freshness. If you’re new to mussels, buy small ones. Small mussels are usually cultivated, contain very little sand, and have a less fishy flavor than their wild cousins. When you spot mussels at the fish counter, they should be completely closed or just slightly gaping. Once you have them in hand, stick your nose in the bag and take a good whiff. If they smell like anything other than the sea, give them back and either try another fishmonger or plan on cooking something else.

Steamers, littlenecks, and cherrystones are the best clams for steaming. There are two basic types of clams to choose from: soft and hard. Soft-shell clams—a misnomer because their shells aren’t soft at all—have a small necklike siphon sticking out between their shells. They’re also known as steamers. Because of their siphons, softshell clams can’t close all the way, so to check for freshness, touch the siphon it should pull in slightly.

The most widely available hard-shell clams are Atlantic clams, also known as quahogs (pronounced koh-hogs). The smallest quahogs are called littlenecks. Even though they’re the smallest, they’re also the most expensive because they have the sweetest flavor and are very tender. Medium-size quahogs are known as cherrystones, and the largest quahogs are called chowder clams. As with mussels, look for hard-shell clams that are firmly shut and have a clean sea scent.

When you get your mussels or hard-shell clams home, let them breathe. Take them out of the bag if they came in one (they suffocate in plastic), put them in a bowl, cover with a wet towel, and store them in the fridge. Though it’s best to cook them as close to purchasing as possible, they’ll keep this way for up to two days. Whatever you do, don’t soak them in water —fresh water kills them and leaches out their flavor.

Because soft-shell clams gape open, they’re inevitably full of sand and should be encouraged to cleanse themselves before cooking. Soaking them in cold salt water (1 cup salt to 3 quarts water) overnight or at least for a few hours usually takes care of the sand. Then they can be stored like hard-shell clams.

Shortly before you’re ready to start steaming, scrub the mussels or clams with a stiff brush under cold running water to get rid of the grit that otherwise will end up in your sauce. If the mussels have big “beards”—black hairlike fibers that enable them to cling to things—use your thumb and forefinger to yank them off.

Eliminate any dead clams or mussels before steaming because a bad one can ruin the whole batch. Look for any mussels that have opened and tap them on the kitchen counter. If they don’t close, discard them. For closed mussels, press on the sides of the two shells in opposing directions. Dead mussels will fall apart.

Clams should all still be firmly shut. If some have started to open, give them a tap. If they don’t snap shut relatively quickly, throw them away.

Steam the shellfish in a flavorful liquid

Slowly simmer 2 cups dry white wine, 3 finely chopped shallots, 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), and 1 bay leaf in an 8-quart pot for 5 minutes. Add 4 pounds scrubbed mussels or clams, cover the pot, and turn the heat to high. When steam starts to escape, reduce the heat to medium. After 5 minutes, shake the pot to redistribute the shellfish. After another 2 minutes for mussels (7 minutes for clams), check to see if most of the shells have opened. If not, continue steaming until they do.

Learn one easy technique and then vary the flavors

The French are mad for mussels and have steamed them for years in the famous and easily prepared dish moules à la marinière—mussels steamed with white wine, shallots, and parsley. Clams are also marvelous when given the marinière treatment.

The technique is ridiculously simple. All you have to do is concoct a flavorful steaming liquid out of wine,
beer, or another liquid along with some aromatic ingredients like garlic, shallots, and herbs. You simmer the steaming liquid for a few minutes to develop its flavor, then you add the mussels or clams, cover, and steam until the shellfish have opened.

Once the shellfish are cooked, you can transfer them to serving bowls and simply ladle over the broth, or convert the broth into a more classic sauce by combining it with heavy cream, butter, or olive oil (especially good for pasta). Homemade aïoli (garlic mayonnaise) whisked into the broth is also terrific.

Once you’ve made moules à la marinière, you can invent variations with very little effort. Add garlic, tomatoes, saffron, ginger, soaked and softened dried chiles, curry powder (cooked in a little butter for 30 seconds to release its flavor), or fresh herbs—such as tarragon, chives, cilantro, basil, or marjoram—alone or in combination. For a Thai variation, add a little fish sauce, lemongrass, and hot chile to the steaming liquid and then enrich the broth with coconut milk once the mussels are done.

Turn the steaming liquid into a sauce

Transfer the shellfish to hot serving bowls with a slotted spoon or skimmer (you’ll have eight first-course or four main-course servings). Slowly pour the broth into a clean saucepan, leaving any grit behind. Add 3 tablespoons chopped parsley and season with black pepper if you like, whisk in 1/2 cup unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil. Heat the sauce for a minute or two and then ladle it over the shellfish. Serve with plenty of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.

What if one doesn’t open?

If you steam mussels and find that one doesn’t open, it’s almost invariably bad. Clams are a little trickier. For every dozen clams you steam, you’re likely to find one that won’t open. Don’t assume it’s bad and throw it away yet. Instead, stick a thin knife between the shells and give it a little twist. Nine times out of ten, the clam snaps open, perfectly good (sniff if you’re not sure).

If you steamed soft shell clams, beware the siphon it’s covered with a gritty black sheath that you don’t want to eat. The easiest way to deal with it is to pick up the cooked clam by its siphon and pull away the sheath as you eat the clam.

Steamed Garlic Ginger Clams

One of the nice aspects of moving to our new home has been shopping at our neighborhood grocery store. This particular store is older and has a distinct neighborhood feel about it. I probably shop here at least 3-4 times a week picking up just what I need for 2 nights worth of dinner ingredients. However, what I love most about shopping at this store is how quickly I have become friends with the Jason the seafood manager. He is always quick to tell me what’s fresh in the case and what happens to be on sale. He knows I love a good deal!

A couple days ago while pushing my cart pass the seafood case, Jason quickly pointed out he had little steamer clams on sale. I have this thing where I cannot resist buying clams if they are fresh and on sale. 𔄚 pounds, please,” I enthusiastically ordered. After he wrapped the clams up in brown wax-lined paper I headed towards the produce section knowing exactly how I wanted to prepare my soon to be pre-dinner starter. I grabbed some garlic, ginger, parsley, and lemon and headed for the checkout counter.

Once I got home and unloaded my groceries out of my car and to my dining table, I started to grab a few other ingredients I had on hand to start cooking.

The beauty of preparing steamed clams is that it is very hard to screw up. At a minimum, all you need is a little bit of butter, garlic, and chicken broth. But if you want a more flavorful clam dish as well as the savory stock from cooking the clams in, adding a few more complimentary ingredients will really enhance your dish. What you’ll want to do is melt a couple tablespoons of butter, add some minced ginger and garlic, followed by some Oyster sauce, chicken broth, and some clams.

Oh my word, this dish is so easy yet so amazing! After cooking for about five minutes the dish is ready. I like to toss in some fresh chopped parsley and add a couple squeezes of lemon juice to brighten the whole dish up. I love how when a few ingredients pulled together can transform a dish into something wonderful. This dish is no exception.

You can drink the leftover broth or do as I did. I cut up some Swiss chard and braised it in the broth for a very memorable simple side dish. The broth complimented the hearty leafy vegetable in such a surprising way that I saved all the remaining broth and used it to braise more Swiss chard for my next night’s dinner – so good!

If you enjoy clams, add this recipe to your recipe box. When you decide to make it, buy some Swiss chard too. You’ll see what I mean about using the broth as a braising liquid. This dish is practically a 2-for-1. Enjoy!

How to Make It

In a covered 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer while cleaning shellfish.

Meanwhile, scrub clams or mussels well pull any beards off mussels. Discard open shellfish that don't close when tapped.

Return broth to a boil over high heat. Add shellfish, cover, and cook until shells pop open, 3 to 6 minutes. Spoon shellfish and broth into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Creamy tarragon-shallot broth. In pan, combine 1 cup water (for clams) or clam juice (for mussels), 1 cup dry white wine, 1/2 cup chopped shallots, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon.

Per serving with clams: 265 cal., 34% (90 cal.) from fat 13 g protein 10 g fat (8 g sat.) 11 g carbo (3 g fiber) 328 mg sodium 62 mg chol.

Garlic-ginger broth. In pan, combine 1 cup water (for clams) or fat-skimmed reduced-sodium chicken broth (for mussels), 1 cup sake or dry white wine, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot chili flakes.

Per serving with clams: 154 cal., 5% (1 cal.) from fat 12 g protein 9 g fat (1 g sat.) 4 g carbo (2 g fiber) 56 mg sodium 29 mg chol.

Tomato-basil broth. In pan, combine 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes (including liquid), 1/2 cup water (for clams) or fat-skimmed reduced-sodium chicken broth (for mussels), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons dried basil.

Per serving of clams: 131 cal., 11% (14 cal.) from fat 14 g protein 5 g fat (2 g sat.) 17 g carbo (4 g fiber) 386 mg sodium 29 mg chol. z

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