Clams with black bean sauce

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 January, 2012, 12:00am


Clams are a popular ingredient over Lunar New Year because their shape is similar to that of traditional Chinese coins.

As with many other foods served during the holiday, it's believed that eating clams will bring wealth.

Ingredients 2 slightly heaped tbsp fermented black beans

15ml Chinese rice wine

750 grams fresh small clams (with shells about 2.5cm in length), thoroughly rinsed then drained

30ml cooking oil

2-3 slices (about 2cm in diameter) fresh ginger, peeled and julienned

2 garlic cloves, sliced

Fresh red chillis, to taste

10ml soy sauce

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

A pinch of ground white pepper

2-3 spring onions, cut into 2.5cm lengths

Fresh coriander sprigs

Briefly rinse the black beans with warm water then drain and place in a small bowl with the rice wine.

Leave to soak for about five minutes, then roughly mash the beans.

Slice the chillis in half lengthwise then remove and discard the seeds and stems. Thinly slice the chillis.

Heat the wok over a high flame.

Pour the oil into the wok and heat; when it's very hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for about 15 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the black beans (along with the rice wine) and the chillis and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the clams, soy sauce, sugar, white pepper and about 120ml of hot water.

Bring to the boil and stir well.

Lower the heat, cover with the lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the clams open (discard any that don't open).

Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.

Add the spring onions and plenty of fresh coriander.

Stir well to combine the ingredients and serve with steamed white rice.