Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 3rd - Salty and Savoury Black Bean Clams

Clams in Black Bean Sauce
We usually do this with Dungeness Crab.  It is awesome with Dungeness as well, especially when you don't have to chop it.  The fish counter at TnT will chop it for you.  But if you do, add the Crab at the beginning with the Wine instead.  But I Clams are great and I find, more consistent than Mussels.  Touch wood.  I have found lately, that Mussels are a crap shoot.  There has been a fairly notable yield of bad ones before cooking and then funky ones after.  That's coming from a reliable fish counter.  Clams on the other hand, though smaller, usually more reliable.  I had a similar dish at the Shore on Granville but they used a scant amount of Black Bean Sauce to a point that it didn't taste at all Chinese but it was awesome.  Their appetiser portion of these Clams is the size of a Mussels entree.  So tada, we did our own version here.  I think I'll cut back on back on the Black Bean sauce next time to try to emulate the Shore Version more.  But the more Asian, in your face, Black Bean taste here is yummo too.

Steamed Clams in Black Bean Sauce

1-1.5 lb fresh, LIVE Manila Clams, in shell (for 2 people)
4-5 T Black Bean, sauce (recommend Lee Kum Kee, used another one with yellow all Chinese label once and it was SSSSSSOOOOOO SALTY)
1 inch fresh Ginger
1 t Sambal Oleck or Chili Garlic Sauce (Sambal is a Singaporean Chili Paste)
1 bunch Green Onions
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 T Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
1 c dry White Wine

Fresh Cilantro, garnish, optional.

Rinse all the Clams.  Throw any open ones away.  You can buy them fresh from any fish monger or the fresh seafood bar at the TnT Asian Superstore.  You can keep live Clams in the fridge in damp cloth for a day, no more.  Ideally, you should use them the same day.

In a Med-Large pot or Wok, heat the Oil on Med High. Add the Ginger and Whites of the Green Onions.  Sautee for a few minutes.

Add the Black Bean Sauce and Chili Paste.  Stir briefly to incorporate.  Add the Clams and Wine.  Pour the Wine evenly over the pan.  Cover immediately. Shimmy the pan on the stove but don't uncover.  Let simmer for 6 minutes until all the Clams are open.  Serve hot like steamed Mussels.

Garnish with fresh Cilantro if you want.


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