Clams in White Bean Sauce
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No need to prep everything ahead: Get your chopping in while the fennel cooks. Just keep an eye on the pot!
- 1 15-ounce can baby lima or cannellini beans or other medium white beans, rinsed
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- Handful of parsley leaves
- 36 littleneck or Manila clams, scrubbed
- 4 thick slices country-style bread, toasted
Toss beans in a medium bowl with a drizzle of oil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Halve fennel and remove fronds (don’t toss the fronds!). Thinly slice one half of fennel and transfer to a medium bowl along with fronds. Place a damp paper towel directly on fennel to help prevent browning and set aside. Finely chop remaining half of fennel, then thinly slice garlic.
Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add chopped fennel, garlic, and rosemary sprig and cook, stirring often, until fennel is translucent and tender but still has some bite, about 5 minutes.
While that’s happening, remove 2 wide strips of zest from lemon with a vegetable peeler. Halve lemon and pick out seeds. Coarsely chop parsley.
Add clams and lemon zest to pot, squeeze in juice from a lemon half, cover pot, and cook until some clams start to open, 5–7 minutes. Toss and stir clams; use a slotted spoon to transfer any open ones to a medium bowl. Cover pot and cook until remaining clams open, checking sporadically and transferring them to bowl as they are done, 7–9 minutes; discard any clams that don’t open. Add reserved seasoned beans to pot and stir to combine; loosen sauce with water if it looks too tight. Return clams to pot, add half of parsley, and toss well.
Add remaining parsley to bowl with reserved sliced fennel and squeeze remaining lemon half over. Season fennel-herb salad with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Drizzle with a very small amount of oil and toss again.
Serve clams topped with salad and toasted bread for dipping into sauce.
Nutritional ContentCalories (kcal) 430 Fat (g) 17 Saturated Fat (g) 2 Cholesterol (mg) 55 Carbohydrates (g) 41 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 4 Protein (g) 29 Sodium (mg) 1430
Clams in White Bean SauceReviews SectionLoved it! Used spaghettini and homemade roman beans....RoniqueVirginia Beach08/02/20Definitely my favorite summer meal. I've made this a handful of times with whatever soft herbs I have on hand. I let the clams sit in some salted water for about ten minutes while I chop the fennel so they spit out some sand. This is definitely a staple in our house!
Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce
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This easy recipe has littleneck clams that are stir-fried in a mixture of clam juice, Chinese bean sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. As the clams steam open, they release their juices to help make a savory sauce to be spooned over steamed white rice.
What to buy: Chinese bean sauce, also known as ground bean sauce, brown bean sauce, or yellow bean sauce, is made from soybeans, salt, flour, sugar, sesame oil, and spices. It can be find in Asian grocery stores we like the Koon Chun brand.
Stir-Fried Clams in Black Bean Sauce Recipe (Oc Xao Gung Dau Den)
3 lbs live Manila, Cherrystone, or Littleneck clams
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons fermented black bean garlic sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
Corn starch slurry (2 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca starch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated or finely minced ginger
1 scallion (thinly slice the green part only)
Clams in White Bean Sauce - Recipes
Can't find fermented black beans? You can approximate a substitute by mashing together 4 teaspoons drained canned black beans and 2 teaspoons light or red miso.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
6 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise, white and greens parts kept separate
2 tablespoons fermented black beans rinsed well and mashed lightly with a fork
3 to 5 dried whole small chilies, or to taste
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin 2-inch strips
3 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 pound baby bok choy, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
Cooked white or brown rice, to serve
In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, scallion whites, fermented black beans and chilies. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the red bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the clams and 1/2 cup of the broth, then cover the pan tightly and steam the clams. Check the pan regularly and, as they open, transfer the clams to a bowl. Discard any clams that do not open.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, the rice wine, cornstarch and the soy sauce and add the mixture to the saucepan in a stream, whisking. Bring to a boil and add the bok choy. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the clams, along with any juices from the bowl, to the pan. Cook, stirring to coat the clams with the sauce, until the clams are hot.
Serve the clams and broth over rice, then garnish each portion with scallion greens.
[Chinese Recipes] Stir-Fried Clams in 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.
(Aug 23, 2014 update on buying fresh clams from reader feedback – Thanks to Paula for catching that!)
A very important part of cooking with clams is buying fresh ones so here are a few quick and essential tips on ensuring you start this recipe off on the right foot!
Make sure you buy clams from a good fish monger or a place that moves a lot of seafood. If possible, choose a vendor with live tanks as it helps to keep the clams alive and cleans the sand out of them and you’ll have a better chance of getting them fresh and live.
Make sure all of the clams are closed tight or close when touched which means they are alive. Closed clams do not ensure they are alive but you can pick them out during the cooking process. Also, use your nose and smell before you buy! They should smell sweet and should not have any strong fishy odor.
It’s best to store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them in the wax bag that the fish monger usually gives you. You should buy and use them the same day if possible and it’s best not to let them sit for more than overnight
Once you get the fresh, live clams, it’s a quick and easy dish to make, so let’s get this party started.
1 1/2 pounds fresh 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 pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water, mixed into a slurry
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Before you do anything, make sure that your clams are washed thoroughly.
When your ingredients have been prepared and you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in your wok over high heat. Add the ginger and allow it to caramelize (about 20 seconds), taking care not to burn it.
Next, add the garlic, scallion, peppers and fermented black beans, and stir fry the mixture for about 10 seconds. Add the clams. Pour in the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok, and immediately cover it.
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.
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. 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. Serve immediately.
Stir-Fried Clams in Black Bean Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Before you do anything, make sure that your clams are washed thoroughly. There's nothing more unpleasant than finding sand in your food. When your ingredients have been prepared and you're ready to cook, heat the oil in your wok over high heat. Add the ginger and allow it to caramelize (about 20 seconds), taking care not to burn it.
Next, add the garlic, scallion, peppers and fermented black beans, and stir fry the mixture for about 10 seconds. Add the clams. Pour the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok, and immediately cover the wok. 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.
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.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and gently stir the mixture so the sauce coats the clams.
Clams with Black Bean Sauce, Bok Choy, and Noodles Recipe
The idea to add noodles to the classic Chinese dish of clams with black bean sauce isn't exactly a huge leap from the original, but as soon as I got the idea, I was determined to get it right. Though seemingly simple (just add noodles to the old dish, right?) achieving the right balance between the sauce, the shellfish, and the noodles took a little more effort than expected. After some initial tries at stir-frying the noodles along with the clams, I decided to cook the noodles separately and only combine things at the very end.
Still, even when I did this, something felt like it was missing. It wasn't until I hit on the idea of adding bok choy that this started looking like a full meal. The vegetable adds some crunch, along with some much needed color.
The rest is pretty straightforward. The clams steam in a flavorful and fragrant mixture. When they open, they are removed, the bok choy is added in, and the remaining liquid is turned into the silky smooth black bean sauce. Meanwhile, the noodles cook in boiling water. When done, they are drained, rinsed, and divided between the two bowls. Then you just have to combine the two. The only thing I could think of adding to improve this was a little drizzle of chile oil for some heat.
Recipe: Clams and bok choy with black bean sauce
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Just about all of the traditional dishes served at feasts celebrating the Chinese New Year – which this year falls on Feb. 19 – symbolize something wonderful to come. Round foods in particular are rich with meaning, their coin-like shape considered a nod to prosperity.
So let’s cook some clams! Round, delicious and so easy! Plus, clams are a twofer – a lean and delicious source of protein and the automatic generator of a tasty, instant sauce. When the clamshells steam open, the clam juice spills out. And that juice creates the perfect base for any flavourings you might want to add.
But clams also are quite perishable. So a few words of advice.
Clams are alive when you buy them and they need air, which is why most fishmongers poke holes in the plastic bags that carry them. You’ll want to bring the little fellers home as quickly as possible, take them out of the bag, cover them with a damp towel and store them in the cold back part of the refrigerator. Oh, and be sure to cook them within a few days.
According to Rick Moonen, one of my favourite seafood chefs, most clams these days are cleansed of excess sand before they’re sold. But if you suspect that your batch might be quite sandy inside, soak them in heavily salted water (1/4 cup coarse salt for each quart of water) for 30 minutes. Then, just before cooking the clams, scrub them well with a brush under cool running water until the shells feel clean and sand-free.
The easy part about cooking clams is that they tell you when they’re done by opening. The only hitch is that they don’t all open at the same time. This means that if you leave all of them in the pan until the last guy opens, the first one will be way overcooked. Accordingly, you should remove each clam as its shell pops open. And if there’s one clam whose shell refuses to open, toss it. It’s likely dead and filled with sand.
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Clams and Chorizo in White Wine Sauce
This clam and chorizo recipe with white wine sauce is packed with flavor and freshened up with a touch of lemon zest, clam juice, and fresh parsley.
Serve this clams and chorizo recipe with a baguette or over linguine or zucchini noodles.
Clams need to be alive when cooked. Many places give you clams wrapped in a plastic bag, which they should not do, as the little guys need to breathe to stay alive.
Immediately open the bag and transfer to a bowl of ice when you get home and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Dead clams will be open before cooking, so trash them. Clams that have not opened after cooking should also be trashed. Don't try to pry them open.
Rinse clams before cooking. They are notoriously sandy. Chances are that you will not be able to get all the sand off.
The sand will stay at the bottom of your pot when cooking. When pouring your broth into a bowl, leave
¼ to &frac13 of the liquid (and all of the sand) in the pan. This prevents a sandy broth. You can also strain the broth.
Don't have or can't find clam juice? Use water or chicken broth instead.
Serve this Clam and Chorizo dish with complementary recipes like (can you tell I like to combine this dish with the acidity from tomatoes?!):
You May Also Like
If you like Chorizo and Clams then you may also like these similar recipes with seafood and/or pork:
Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (豉椒炒蜆)
Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (Printable recipe)
By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 10 mins (plus soaking clam time)
Cook time: 10 mins
Yield: 2 to 3 serves
- 1 kg clams
- 2 tsp minced shallots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp fermented black soybeans (aka douchi 豆豉)
- 1 Tbsp shredded ginger
- 3 to 4 spring onion, shredded
- 1 Tbsp white rice cooking wine
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
- cilantro, for garnish
- 120 ml water
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp dark soy sauce
- white pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp chilli oil, optional
- 1 tsp corn flour / corn starch
- 2 Tbsp water
- Soak the clams in salted water for 2 to 3 hours and let them release sands inside. Rinse thoroughly. Briefly blanch in boiling water until they are slightly open. Immediately drain them in a colander. Set aside.
- Rinse the fermented black soybeans and drain well. Use a large spoon to press them into a paste. You might like to reserve some in whole shape to enhance the presentation.
- Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, fermented black soybeans, ginger and half of the spring onion, until aromatic.
- Toss the clams into the wok. Increase heat to high and stir fry until aromatic. Sprinkle wine around the edge of wok. Add the sauce, red chilli. Quickly stir to combine. Cook for a few seconds. Add the rest of spring onion. Stir in the thickening and cook to preferred consistency. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
- Don’t ever cook the clams too long while blanching, as they have to be stir fried later on and you don’t want the meat turn rubbery.
- Discard any unopened clams because they are dead already.
- If you like a stronger kick of chilli, you might like to sauté the red chilli with fermented black soybeans. Or add more chilli oil if you like.
- If you have smaller kids, you might skip the red chilli.
***If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #christinesrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.