Malaysian Black Pepper Clams
- 5 pounds Manila clams
- 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1/2 cup grated coconut palm sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper (largest grind on a peppermill)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic
- One 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ounce fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 ounce fresh Thai basil leaves
- 1 ounce fresh mint leaves
- Toasted sourdough bread, sliced 1-inch-thick, brushed with olive oil, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
Place the clams in a large bowl and rinse under cold, running water for 5 to 10 minutes to "spit" the clams of all sand and grit. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and the remaining black pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, to release the flavors, but do not let the garlic brown. Add the clams. Add 1/2 cup water and cover immediately to let the clams steam open. This will take 3 to 4 minutes. All the clams should be open, remove any that are not. Add the oyster sauce mixture. Stir well. Add the butter, stir well and pour out into a large bowl.
Serve immediately with the fresh herbs sprinkled over the top, toasted bread and wedges of fresh lime to squeeze over the clams.
2011, Susan Feniger