Clams (啦啦)

I’ve never loved lala because they always looked at me with their two eyes. But when I was served this chilli garlic clam some time back, I regretted not trying clams earlier. And yes, I later found out those two tubes weren’t their eyes. They were for inhalation and exhalation…

I tried cooking clams a month back. The Mum in law said soaking them in salt solution will help remove the sand they’ve ingested. That failed. Those were Venus clams then.

Today, I saw fresh looking lala clams at the supermarket. I immediately bought $7 worth. When I reached home,  I did an experiment. You see, since my first attempt failed, I had been researching how to clean clams. There were 3-4 ways that seem foolproof.

So I carried out a long experiment. In case you don’t like clams and reading through my length post, the outcome is just use salt and shaking method.

For the experiment, I soaked the clams for an hour in 3 different bowls of water and added three things, one in each bowl – metal pieces, salt, and oil ( in top down order in the picture)

I gave them a stir halfway through. And then rinsed them when time was up. 

I chose one clam that opened significantly in each bowl and boiled the clams separately. All turned out fine. This means an hour of soaking with some rinsing seemed good enough.
I then carried out the last method to clean clams – shaking them in water.
So I did. I shook each bowl separately and rinsed many times. Amazingly, as I kept shaking the clams in a sieve in a big bowl of water, more sand fell out. This means just salt and shaking in an hour was not good enough.  The bowl with the iron, and oil, still had sand after many rinses and shakes, the one with the salt had the least. I shook each bowl several times until there was hardly any sand. The shaking seemed to work very well. One YouTube video said just shaking is good enough. I suppose, but it’s really tiring if I had to stand and shake so long. Next time, I will probably dunk the clams in both salt and oil solution, then shake them, bet I would have good results.

So there, now I can cook clams! And yummy ones!

Here’s a simple recipe:

Garlic, sliced, lots of them, butter about two tablespoons, chinese cooking wine, salt, chilli sliced (red, or birds eye)

Heat up oil and sauté garlic for about 10 minutes til they are about to turn crispy (become slight brown color). Throw in butter, cooking wine, and the clams. Give good stir. Add some water, Cover and simmer. When water boils, throw in chillis, salt and stir. Cover and simmer til all clams pop open (this is fast so watch it). Immediately after they pop, stir gently for about 5 minutes to ensure clams are seasoned with the broth and chilli. Turn off fire and serve. Do not overlook or else they’ll turn very tough and hard to chew. Next adventure will be with spaghetti vongole!


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