Spicy Golden Clams (Kam Heong) with Creamy Basil Rice

photo (11)I have always fancied Manila clams as a soup simmered in ginger. But there are certainly more ways than one when it comes to cooking this delicious shellfish. Like the Malaysian Kam Heong. My version of this recipe involves cooking the clams in a prepared brown sauce consisting of oyster sauce, black bean sauce (which I substituted for soybean paste), curry powder, sugar and cooking wine. And what better way to serve this dish than with some creamy basil rice which is cooked exactly like steamed white rice with the addition of a couple of tablespoons of cream basil available at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods.


1 1/2 lbs Manila or other clams

2 sprigs mint leaves (stems discarded).  Reserve a few leaves for garnish

1/2 tsp dried chili crush

1 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in water, drained and minced

1/3 cup chopped white onions

3 tbsps Olive oil

For seasoning:

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp black bean sauce

1 1/4 tbsps curry powder

1 1/2 tbsps Chinese cooking wine

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp chopped green onions


Clean and scrub the clam shells.  Soak in water for 30 minutes then rinse in cold water and drain. In a medium bowl, combine the seasoning ingredients and set aside. Heat Olive oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.  Add mint leaves, chili crush and dried shrimp. Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add onions and stir-fry for one minutes. Add in the clams and seasoning sauce and continue cooking for one minutes.  Cover the wok and let the clams cook until the shells open up. Remove from heat and transfer clams into a serving bowl, dredging them with the remaining seasoning sauce.  Top with green onions and garnish with fresh mint leaves.  Serve with creamy basil rice topped with chopped cilantro.


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