Monday, June 27, 2011

Clams on the Deck

Last night we enjoyed a lovely little dinner on the deck with our handsome friends Andrew and John of Study.  It was a relaxing and delicious meal and, while everyone got a kick out of my Thai Pineapple and rice dish, one of our favorite bites of the right were a trio of simple clams.  They packed a big punch thanks to a dose of fermented black beans. Found in Asian Markets, fermented black beans are actually soy beans that have been dried and fermented with assorted spices giving them a pungent and memorable flavor. Give them a try...
Chinese Steamed Clams with Black Bean Sauce
4 servings

12 Little Neck Clams
1T canola or grape seed oil
2t minced fresh garlic
21/2 t minced fresh ginger
2T Fermented black beans, chopped
1/4 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C Water
1 1/2T Oyster Sauce
Pea shoots (optional)

To Make the sauce, saute the garlic and ginger in the oil until fragrant, but not browned.  Add the beans, soy sauce and water.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Stir in the oyster sauce and warm through.  Scrub the clams  and place them in a bamboo steamer of medium heat.  Steam the clams for 3-5 minutes or until they open (discard any unopened clams).  Divide the clams equally between four bowls and top each clam with some of the sauce and a pea shoot for garnish.

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