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- Dish type
- Seafood starters
Clams are steamed with sake and soy sauce in this easy Japanese-inspired seafood dish. Serves 2.
1 person made this
- 250g palourde or manilla clams
- 180ml water
- 100ml sake
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 spring onion, sliced diagonally
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:2hr › Ready in:2hr20min
- Soak clams in lightly salted water to draw sand out of the shells, about 2 hours. Rinse.
- Combine clams, water, sake and soy sauce in a pot over medium heat. Simmer and cook, covered, until clams open, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Garnish clams with sliced spring onions.
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Around this time of year I start getting nostalgic for summers in Massachusetts.
Well, certain aspects of summers in Massachusetts. I can do without the jam-packed subways every other day when there's a Red Sox home game. And how loud and obnoxious the restaurants and bars in Back Bay get when fans spill out of Fenway. Or basically anything team sports-related. But I do miss plenty. The gorgeous red glow of the Charles River at sunset. The 4th of July fireworks on the Esplanade. The beaches on the North Shore. And oh yes, the clams.
To say that New Englanders adore clams is an understatement. We have beach-side celebrations centered around big platters of steamed clams and other crustaceans drizzled with butter. We have an entire summer festival devoted to clam chowder, during which you taste many samples of hot chowder outdoors under an even hotter sun. And every town along the shore with a patch of beach has at least a handful of clam shacks serving up fried whole-belly clams with tartar sauce, on or off a hotdog bun, an only-in-New-England thing that's almost impossible find anywhere else.
As much as I've been craving a gigantic plate of fried clams with fries or onion rings or both, I also know something would get lost making it at home. Because, really, fried clams taste the best when you're finally sitting down for lunch after few hours on the beach, a little fried yourself, in a still-drying bathing suit and sandy flip-flops.
To satisfy my craving for clams, I turned to a sake-steamed clam recipe from Food & Wine. It uses smaller clams such as Manila clams and other cockles, and is a breeze to make after cleaning the clams. You simply steam it in a combination of sake and water for about 4 minutes, then (and this is where I get my New England-style clam fix) top with a few bits of butter. The original recipe called for an optional togarashi spice blend of cayenne pepper, sesame seeds, and seaweed, which I didn't have, so I improvised with cayenne, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. It came out very well, though I may try this with bits of nori next time.
Do you have any favorite ways or preparing clams, or want to share some favorite clam dishes you've tried?
Sake-steamed clams recipe - Recipes
1. (>1 hour) Scrub clams with a hard brush, then soak in salted water for at least an hour for the clams to purge out sand and impurities. Drain and rinse clams.
- I did not have asari clams on hand, and was using hamaguri clam
- I always purchase my clams from 9s Seafood! They are cleaned, de-sanded and pasteurised, ready for direct cooking
- Despite that, I still thaw and soak my claims in salted water for an hour prior to cooking
2. Add kombu (1x 2″) and water 200ml in pot, bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and discard kombu.
3. Add clams 500g and sake 150ml
4. Close lid and steam for 2-3 minutes, until all the shells open.
5. Discard any clams that remain closed.
6. Ladle clams and clam broth to a serving bowl and top with chopped spring onions.
Sake-Steamed Clams with Soba Noodles
Cook soba noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add white parts of scallions, jalapeño, and ginger. Stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add clams stir to coat and cook for 1 minute, then pour in sake. Cover and cook until clams open, 4—6 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Using a slotted spoon, transfer clams to a bowl. Discard ginger slices.
Transfer noodles to the clam juices in skillet and cook for 1 minute to warm through. Divide noodles among bowls. Toss clams, along with the scallion greens, back into clam juices. Divide clams and broth evenly among bowls.
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At last year's Real Food Festival, the man himself gave me my first taste of raw clam.
Admittedly, I wasn't too impressed at the time - it was a bit too chewy - but I thought I would try again (plus the stallholder at the Southbank Centre told me that raw clam deserved a second chance).
So I went home with my little basket of big clams to try to open the suckers.
Ten stabbing attempts later, oyster knife glancing off the clam shells repeatedly, I gave up.
These babies were totally impenetrable.
So I shucked the rock oysters I'd got instead - these were huge, twice the size of the ones from See Woo - and then decided to make Asian style sake clams.
Sake Steamed Clams
- 6 big clams
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 inch chunk of ginger
- 6 coriander sprigs
- 1 red chilli
- 100 ml sake
- 100 ml water
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 1 flat tbsp of butter
Scrub the clams and discard any that don't close.
Place the clams in a saucepan and pour over the sake and the water. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and butter.
Cover with a lid and then steam on high for five minutes.
Discard any clams that don't open.
Tip the clams into a serving dish with all the juices, sprinkle with coriander and serve.
This isn't an authentic Japanese recipe for sake clams (hamaguri shigure-ni or asari no sakamushi) eg they wouldn't use coriander for a start, but I like to mix things up.
Anyway, this was absolutely delicious - but I think I might take a break from seafood for a bit .
Happy as a Clam
While there are several varieties of clams, I use manila in this recipe. They are a small, sweet variety from the Pacific. I love how plump and tender they are. Plus they open very quickly compared to many other hard shelled clams. But if they aren’t available in your area, littleneck or razor clams will work beautifully too.
Generally, smaller clams tend to be both sweeter and less chewy, so I would stay away from the larger ones meant for chowders or stuffing. This dish is all about the flavor and texture of the clam with really no masking of any shortcomings, so purchase the best clams you can source.
The first thing you need to do when you bring the clams home is to give them a thorough rinse to remove dirt and sand from their shells. Then they need a salt water soak. This will help to expel any sand or grit inside the clam. Be sure to make the water as salty as the ocean, as this will help acclimate the clams and encourage them to open a bit and spit out the grit. You can leave them in this bath in the fridge overnight, or on the counter if you are going to prepare them that evening. They should not be left in the same water longer than 12 hours as the oxygen will deplete and the clams will suffocate.
After their bath, the clams will need a good rinsing to remove all that salt.
Recipe: Delicious Sake-Steamed Manila Clams (Easy in the Microwave)
Sake-Steamed Manila Clams (Easy in the Microwave). Today I want to share a popular recipe at Izakaya-style Japanese restaurants, and that is Sake-Steamed Clams, or Asari no Sakamushi (あさりの酒蒸し). He pulls it off using Mac's Manila clams, preparing a meal that is nutritious. Japanese Steamed Clams – steamed Manila (Asari) clams with butter, Japanese sake and mirin.
Very easy to make and the sauce is extremely forgiving. Most Manila clam recipes use steam as the method of preparation, but they can also be baked Steam them with aromatic herbs, bake them in the half shell, remove the meat and use in pasta Manila clams taste every bit as sweet as the Eastern quahogs that are commonly eaten on the half. In a large frying pan, combine the sake and ginger and bring to a boil over high heat. You can have Sake-Steamed Manila Clams (Easy in the Microwave) using 3 ingredients and 6 steps. Here is how you cook that.
Ingredients of Sake-Steamed Manila Clams (Easy in the Microwave)
Steaming in sake brings out the sweet flavour of the clams. The Best Manila Clams Recipes on Yummly In a large, deep skillet, combine the sake with the water and bring to a boil. Because of the ease and speed of which the clams cooked, I love to stock up on frozen, vacuum packs of asari clams in my freezer so that I can whip up a quick and gourmet meal anytime.
Sake-Steamed Manila Clams (Easy in the Microwave) step by step
- Make a brine of water and salt (not listed in ingredients) to the salinity of sea water. Put the clams in a colander and set it inside the brine so that they are slightly sticking out above water level..
- Cover with newspaper, then let sit for about 2 hours to degrit. If it's warm inside the house, degrit them in the refrigerator..
- Once they are finished degritting, rub the clams together while rinsing under running water, then blot excess water..
- Put the clams in a heat-resistant dish, then add the sake and salt (if you prefer a light taste, go lightly on the salt)..
- Wrap in plastic wrap, then microwave for 2 minutes at 600 W. They are done when the clams open up. Don't be surprised, as they will make a loud noise when they open!.
- They should open after 2 minutes…but if they don't microwave for a while longer while keeping your eye on them..
Japanese Steamed Clams – Manila (Asari) clams with butter, Japanese sake and mirin. Soba noodles are available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets. Includes sake, ginger, varnish clams, red chili peppers, ground black pepper, green onions. Related categories: Appetizers Japanese Boiling Frying Steaming Dairy-free Sesame-free Peanut-free Tree-nut-free Soy-free Egg-free Pescetarian + See all. At The Stinking Rose, a garlic-themed restaurant in the old Italian North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, the motto is This dish from their menu features manila clams steamed in wine with sautéed garlic, which perfumes the shellfish with its nutty fragrance.
Sake Steamed Halibut and Manila Clams with Yellow Bean Sauce
1 lb skin on halibut fillet, cut into 1.5inch cubes
1 lb manila clams, rinced
5 stalks scallions, thinly cut
4-5oz ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
3 tbsp yellow bean sauce
½ cup peanut oil
1 cup sake
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
Add the sake and water in a large deep pan, bring it to boil on high heat.
Add the halibut, clam then place the lid to steam until all the clams are open.
While the fish is cooking, heat the peanut oil in the separate pan until it starts to smoke.
Place the fish and clams using fish spatula on a large platter, place the yellow bean sauce, scallion and ginger on top.
Pour the hot peanut oil using basting spoon sizzling the ginger and scallion.
Optionally, use the remaining broth to make soup by adding water to adjust the saltiness. Add tofu and scallion.
Sake-steamed clams recipe - RecipesPhotographs by Dan Morgner/Vaughn Images
“I chose this recipe for my love of clams and their versatility,” says Mike Ransom, chef/proprietor of the Corktown noodle shop, Ima. “The clams give a beautiful sweet and aromatic broth when steamed and can be an appetizer or full meal with the addition of some steamed rice or even over noodles.”
Sake-Steamed Manilla Clam Appetizer (Serves 4)
6 ounces dry Junmai sake
6 ounces clam juice
2 tablespoons shiro miso (also called white miso and typically less salty than dark styles)
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
¼ cup sliced fresh garlic
1 pound manila or littleneck clams, washed
1 cup green onion bottoms (white & light green parts)
½ cup dried lily blossoms (purchase at Chinese grocery stores)
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 lemon, zested and halved
Japanese togarashi powder to taste (crushed red pepper flakes can be substituted here)
Kosher salt to taste
Combine sake, clam juice, and miso and whisk until incorporated. Set aside. In a 4-quart sauce pan on medium heat, add canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic. Sweat until aromatic but not browning, about 2 minutes. Add green onion, lily blossoms, clams, sake stock, and butter, then cover with a lid. Steam for approximately 5-7 minutes or until clams are all opened. Discard those clams that didn’t open. Remove from heat and squeeze one half of lemon and add the zest. Season with kosher salt and togarashi powder to taste. Serve in a large bowl with a side of steamed rice to sop up the tasty broth.
Eaten in translation
These asari no sakamushi were amazing, and all thanks to the recipe and cleaning instructions posted by Amy on Blue Lotus. Since I was only cooking for one, I just added the barest dab of butter. Even so, the leftover cooking liquid was still so rich and delicious I couldn't bear to throw it away, so I poured the leftovers over some rice and sprinkled with more negi. Mmmmm. It's like a Japanese moules mariniere without all the homesickness for the dirt cheap fresh mussels of Australian markets.
Unlike the travesty that is allrecipes.com*, I've found some truly excellent recipes and meal ideas on food blogs lately. I find myself preferring them over my cookbooks for everyday cooking, probably because they're also written by real people with other jobs who don't have 3 hours to work on a weeknight dinner for one or two, who sometimes have to make ingredient substitutions and occasionally use packet stock. I like that readers can ask questions and get clarification about parts they didn't understand, or comment about their own attempts and variations they made. It also helps that the writer is free to be honest about the process 'this part was difficult', 'this is a pain in the ass and you could probably leave it out', 'I think I overcooked this, but next time I'd do X instead'. It's a sort of continual, communal process of refinement.
I've also been a little disappointed with the quality of the few Japanese cookbooks I own and their obvious lack of thorough proofreading or testing - ingredients listed and then never used in the cooking instructions, processes omitted, the same cooking time or temperature given differently in 3 places. I think it's time to do some research on better hardcopy references. If you have a recommendation, could you please leave a comment or send me an email? (よろしく おねがいします！). Otherwise, check back in a few weeks for the results.
*Where every second chocolate cake recipe requires 'one box of chocolate cake mix'.
can you read japanese? if so, I have one title that I use a lot--Orange Page's Orange Table #5 Obachan no Aji. It is good because they have pictures along with the directions. This is where I got the nikujaga recipe from. The Orange Page series seems to be good, you can find back copies at Junkudo. Good luck in your search for a good cookbook!
Thanks! My kanji still isn't great, but it might be good practice. I'll have a look next time I'm at the bookstore.
It's pricey, but I often use Elizabeth Andoh's 'Washoku'. I've had no problem with any of the recipes so far, though she advocates making dashi etc. from scratch, and due to time constraints I occasionally cheat and use instant. If you google her, you'll see that she also runs food shopping and cooking classes in Tokyo.
Another English standard (and much cheaper!) is Emi Kazuko's Japanese Food and Cooking. There seem to be different editions around, varying greatly in price. An Amazon search should yield results.
Lastly, re: Japanese language texts, I agree with the previous commenter on the Orange Page series. My old housemate had this book, and it was a great reference for me: 基本の和食 (大型本) ISBN-10: 4873030900. There's a Part 2 as well.
Thanks for the advice. It looks like I'll have to pick up one of the Orange Page books and sweet talk my tutor if it all gets too hard. I'd like to have a look at Washoku too, even if I am a big instant dashi cheat.
Still Feeling Peckish
This is a really quick recipe today. Yesterday when I went to the market the fishmonger looked really surprised that I was only getting 500g of clams, which was actually all I needed for my Low Carb Hokkien Prawn Mee recipe. Sucker that I was I ended up buying 1 kg of clams which left me wondering what to do with the extra 500g.
Anyway as things turned out, it ended in a hectic and busy day with rehearsals for ushering for the expected 50,000 strong Jubilee Day of Prayer at the Sports Hub and we were starving by the time we got back home. Turns out that a single restriction that did not allow us to give out goody bags at the gate meant that 50,000 goody bags had to be placed on the chairs. Up till late last night our youth volunteers were still at it.
Anyway back to it. This is a magically quick recipe that literally takes 15 minutes to complete. What’s not to like about japanese sake right? It was a happy and fitting end to an exhausting day.