A common mistake when cooking pippies or clams is to overcook them, leaving them quite rubbery. Be sure to remove them from the heat as soon as the shells open up.
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised, finely sliced
- 500 g pippies
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1½ tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp finely diced garlic
- 1 tbsp finely diced red Asian shallots
- ½ tbsp potato starch mixed with 1 tbsp water
- 2 long chillies, finely sliced
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 handfuls Asian basil leaves
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.
In a saucepan, bring water to the boil. Add lemongrass and pippies. Cover and cook until pippies open slightly (roughly 4 minutes).
In a bowl, add sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce. Mix until sugar dissolves and set aside.
Strain the pippies, reserving its broth.
Heat a wok to high, add oil, garlic and red shallots, followed by the pippies, then wok-toss for 1 minute.
Add the sauce and 3 tbsp of the pippie broth, toss for a further minute, then add the dissolved potato starch.
Add chilli, pepper and Asian basil, and toss to combine.
Enjoy with beer.