Stir Fry Clams With Black Bean Sauce




Stir Fry Clams With Black Bean Sauce

We used manila clams for this recipe, which were quite small (about 25 to 30 per pound) but are beautiful and sweet. They are perfect for stir-fried dishes like this one that can serve as appetizers, as one dish of many served family style or just served with some white rice as a main dish. As for the clams, you can also use Cherrystone or Littleneck clams, which are a bit larger but more common in North America and also delicious.



1 1/2 pounds fresh manila clams, scrubbled/washed thoroughly
2 tablespoons oil
4 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 scallion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 long green pepper, sliced (you can seed the peppers if you like)
1 long red pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water, mixed into a slurry
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro



Step 1:    Before you do anything, make sure that your clams are washed thoroughly.  Get a big pot of cold water.   Add 2 tablespoons of salt.  Mix well.   Add the clams.  Set aside for two hours. 




Step 2:    Cut green and red peppers. Mince garlic and ginger.  Chop cilantro.



Step 3:     Heat the oil in your wok over high heat. Add red pepper and fermented black beans.  Stir for 10 seconds.   Then add the garlic, scallion, peppers  and stir fry the mixture for about 30 seconds. Add the clams. Pour in the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok, and immediately cover it.




Step 4:    Cook until the clams begin to open. At this point, the liquid in the wok should be boiling and generating steam when the wok is covered. The time for the clams to cook and open up depends upon the size and type of the clams you are using and how hot you can get your stove. Once a good number of them have opened, remove the cover and give everything a stir.



Step 5:     Stir in the sugar, sesame oil, pepper. Discard any of the clams that didn’t open. Now taste the sauce. If it’s not salty enough, you can add a little bit of soy sauce. Once your satisfied with the flavor of the sauce, add about half of the corn starch slurry to the liquid in the wok and stir. Add more slurry if needed to further thicken the sauce. Again, discard any clams that have not opened because it probably means they are dead – better safe than sorry!

Stir in the chopped cilantro and gently stir the mixture so the sauce coats the clams.