Manila Clams with Black Bean and Ginger Sauce

4 servings as a first course
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup minced scallion
  • 2 dozen Manila clams or New Zealand cockles
  • 1/4 cup Shoa Hsing or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted black beans, crushed with a clever
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Place oil in a wok over medium high heat. Stir fry the ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and scallions for 1 minute. Add the clams and stir well to blend. Add the Shoa Hsing and a scant 3/4 cup water. Cover wok, and boil the clams open for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove clams and place in a colander; shake over wok to let the juices run off into wok. Set aside. To the wok, add the oyster sauce, the soy sauce, the sugar and the black beans. Stir well. Cook over medium high heat for 30 seconds. Mix the cornstarch in a small cup with a little water until a milky liquid is formed, then add to the boiling liquid in the wok (which will thicken immediately). Stir well for 10 seconds, remove from heat, and add sesame oil. Return clams to wok and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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