Stir fry clams in coconut sauce


I love shellfish, particularly clams, in all ways really.
Apart from the sweetness, I like that it requires brief cooking time. I called it fast food from the sea.

Empress Dowager got us started on shellfish when we were very young.
The stir fried 'big head" mussels with sambal was readily available at the local "Zhi Char" stalls.

Back then, all takeaways were wrapped/packed in "Opeh"(Areca) leaves, and I remembered licking the sauce off the "opeh" leaves.
Those were days of old and pure pleasure.

This dish was inspired by my recent trip to KL.
The dish came highly recommended by the restaurant boss - he actually told us if we are not happy with the meal, we don't have to pay.

This dish is explosive in the mouth with layers of flavours.
I was impressed! Unlike the usual Kam Heong Lala (Golden fragrant clams) I am used to, one could taste the various ingredients perfectly executed - not overpowering one another but coming together in a harmonised flavour - bringing it to a whole new level.
I have not tasted such delicious clams in a long while.

The restaurant served this dish with sauce just enough to coat the clams, I added some liquid to my version as I want to be able to dunk crusty bread with it.

My guests agree this dish is a winner.

You will need:

1 kg clams
3-4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 birds eye chilli, seed removed, cut
25gm dry shrimps, soak briefly and drained
1 tablespoon of (meat) curry powder
1 lemongrass (white part only) chopped finely
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 teaspoon of sugar
a handful of curry leaves
2 tablespoon oil
water (optional)

1. Rinse and drain well the clams. (after soaking in salt water)

2. Heat up the wok with oil and add in the chopped shallots, stir fry briefly and add in the drained dry shrimps. Fry till fragrant

3. Toss in the garlic and lemon grass, stir briefly and add in the chilli and curry leaves followed by curry powder. Fry till fragrant.

4. Put in the clams and give it a quick stir fry and cover the wok for about 5 mins or till the shell opened up.

5. Stir in the coconut cream, let boil and dish up.

Cook's notes:
1. To remove the excess sand grits from the clams, soak it in water with a tablespoon of salt.

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