Friday, August 05, 2005

Clams Ahoy

Yesterday morning I made a rare visit to the Pasar Tani (Malay for agricultural market) that is held every Thursday at Section 17, Petaling Jaya. I always see the stalls at the side of the road whenever I drive pass but somehow I never ventured in. I must admit I had great fun walking through the market and they have so many things there. I took lots of pictures which I will post one day but I thought I'll talk a bit about what I got and cooked last night for dinner.

I saw this amazing stall that sold all kinds of clams, green lipped mussels, bamboo lalas and even oysters in the market. I decided to get some of these clams, they're called Venus Clams which I have eaten before in seafood restaurants. The clams were reasonably priced at RM4 per kilogram. A real bargain as you'll probably pay almost triple of the price for a dish of these cooked clams in any seafood restaurant in town.

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The man who sold me the clams advised me to soak them in some salt water for about two to three hours to remove the sand and grit. Then I consulted my mother on how to cook them and she said that I could fry them up with some black beans and chillies. I managed to find a recipe for them in one of my bilingual magazines and it worked out very well. I was originally going to add sweet basil leaves in my clams but I forgot to add them at the last minute. Only downer was my sauce was just a bit too watery so the next time round I need to reduce the water added. Sorry about the slightly less than perfect picture of the cooked clams, in future I should not use the white balance function in my camera as I seem to end up with less than white pictures!

Stir Fried Clams with Fermented Black Bean Sauce

*600 grams clams or lalas, soaked in salt water
20 pieces of sweet basil leaves
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped red chilli
2 tbsps fermented black beans (I usually chop them a bit)
100 ml water
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp shaoxing wine

Heat up about 1 to 2 tbsps of oil in a wok and saute the ginger, garlic, chilli and black beans until fragrant. Put in clams, water and the other seasonings except the cornflour. Stir to mix everything together. Cover the wok and cook until the clams open. Add in the sweet basil leaves and thicken with some cornflour mixed with water. Dish up and enjoy with some piping hot rice.

* I adjusted the recipe to suit my 1 kilogram of clams
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Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Boo,
I LOVE the photo of the fresh clams. Absolutely gorgeous! Makes me miss the ocean, though. . . : )

Unknown said...

the last pasar tani i went to was few years back in PD!!!

Makan Kings said...


RM4 per kilogram is quite good value! We ate this at a restaurant and it cost more than 5 times more. Next time maybe you can try to fry it "Kam Heong" style.

-Makan Kings-

Michèle said...

Hi Boo,
The clams look so so good. I only wish I could find a fish market in Heidelberg with such tempting stuff. Just the other day I was lingering over a recipe for spaghetti with clams.. You've definitely sealed in the craving, so I may just have to look harder to find me some clams :)

Unknown said...

hi boo, yr clam recipe sounds really good, and I especially like that extra touch with the sweet basil leaves - hadn't thought of adding that before.. mmmm.. giving me ideas!!

boo_licious said...

Farmgirl - I have some great pixs of the clams. Will post them another time. Never mind, you don't have the ocean but you have Dan, the cats, the cute dog, hunky farmer, the studs and those naked ladies.

babe - can you believe this is my first time at a pasar tani? Real eye opener.

makan king - yeah kam heong sounds good. I must try that.

michele - I love spaghetti with clams. I plan to buy these clams again and make the Nigella recipe for spaghetti with clams.

cath - yeah, I think basil leaves would have tasted yum. I'm such an idiot to forget them.

If you're following this recipe, don't add the 100ml water, just sprinkle enough to prevent the clams burning. My mum told me clams give out water hence my sauce is too watery.

Karen said...

Clams! These look very fresh. Have you had them as soup? Just saute some ginger, drop the clams till they open, add some water and that's it! They should be salty enough.

I'll have to try your recipe when I find clams in the market. I've never eaten them fried.

boo_licious said...

Karen - Soup sounds interesting. We usually have them fried. Yes, the clams were fresh and so yummy.

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