Monday, June 4, 2012

Sake-Steamed Clams

Summers in Massachusetts... never been but I think of clam bakes and steamed clams. Doesn't that sound yum? Imagine sitting on the beach and devouring some freshly caught clams, lobsters and oysters. Thank goodness for recipes like this sake-steamed clams. It's like East meets West with a dash of Asian flavor. It doesn't get any better than this. Trust me.

Sake-Steamed Clams
Serves 4

2 pounds Manila clams, New Zealand clams or cockles
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
1 cup sake
1 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 or 5 pieces
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced


Pick through the clams and discard any that are not tightly closed (or close when tapped gently on the counter) or have chipped shells. Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in the salt. Add the clams and let stand for 1 hour. (This draws out sand from inside the shells.) Drain the clams and rinse them well. If the shells seem gritty, scrub the outsides gently with a clean brush.

In a deep saucepan, combine the sake and water and bring to a boil. Add the clams, cover with a lid, and steam for about 4 minutes. Uncover and discard any clams that have not opened.

Ladle the clams and broth into a large serving bowl. Scatter the butter pieces over the clams. Top off with the sesame oil, sesame seeds, cayenne, and scallions. Serve immediately.

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