Clams work just as perfectly with rice as they do pasta and noodles. In fact, arguably better - you can scoop up all the flavours in one swoop of a shell!
- 1 kg fresh baby clams
- 2 tbsp (40 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 stalks lemongrass, white core thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp (20 ml) fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups reserved liquid from cooking clams, strained of sediment (use water to top up to 2 cups, or 500 ml)
- 1 ½ tbsp (30 ml) fermented shrimp paste
- ½ cup crushed, roasted peanuts
- ½ cup fried, diced shallots
- 1 green apple, julienned
- 2 sesame rice crackers with black sesame seeds
- 1 large bunch coriander
- 1 large bunch Vietnamese (or regular) mint
- Fried pork rinds, broken into pieces (optional)
- Cooked rice, for serving
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: 20 mins
- Soak clams in cool, fresh water for 20 minutes.
- Pull clams out of water and scrub clams clean of any grit or particles.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in wok or frying pan. Add shallots, garlic and lemongrass and stir-fry until golden. Add clams, fish sauce sugar, paprika and black pepper and stir for a few minutes. Put lid on pan and cook until clams start to open.
- Remove from heat and reserve clams into a bowl.
- Drain liquid from pan into a separate bowl, using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander line with cheese cloth to remove any sediment.
- Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over high medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and stir fry until golden. Add clam liquid and fermented shrimp paste into saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer.
- In the meantime, remove meat from clam shells and place in separate bowl. Discard shells.
- Prepare dishes for serving. Spoon a generous portion of rice into each serving bowl. Scoop a quarter of the clams on top of the rice, on one side of the bowl.
- Ladle some of the simmering clam broth over the clams and rice.
- Arrange garnishes in small separate piles on the rice.