One of the nice aspects of moving to our new home has been shopping at our neighborhood grocery store. This particular store is older and has a distinct neighborhood feel about it. I probably shop here at least 3-4 times a week picking up just what I need for 2 nights worth of dinner ingredients. However, what I love most about shopping at this store is how quickly I have become friends with the Jason the seafood manager. He is always quick to tell me what’s fresh in the case and what happens to be on sale. He knows I love a good deal!
A couple days ago while pushing my cart pass the seafood case, Jason quickly pointed out he had little steamer clams on sale. I have this thing where I cannot resist buying clams if they are fresh and on sale. “2 pounds, please,” I enthusiastically ordered. After he wrapped the clams up in brown wax-lined paper I headed towards the produce section knowing exactly how I wanted to prepare my soon to be pre-dinner starter. I grabbed some garlic, ginger, parsley, and lemon and headed for the checkout counter.
Once I got home and unloaded my groceries out of my car and to my dining table, I started to grab a few other ingredients I had on hand to start cooking.
The beauty of preparing steamed clams is that it is very hard to screw up. At a minimum, all you need is a little bit of butter, garlic, and chicken broth. But if you want a more flavorful clam dish as well as the savory stock from cooking the clams in, adding a few more complimentary ingredients will really enhance your dish. What you’ll want to do is melt a couple tablespoons of butter, add some minced ginger and garlic, followed by some Oyster sauce, chicken broth, and some clams.
Oh my word, this dish is so easy yet so amazing! After cooking for about five minutes the dish is ready. I like to toss in some fresh chopped parsley and add a couple squeezes of lemon juice to brighten the whole dish up. I love how when a few ingredients pulled together can transform a dish into something wonderful. This dish is no exception.
You can drink the leftover broth or do as I did. I cut up some Swiss chard and braised it in the broth for a very memorable simple side dish. The broth complimented the hearty leafy vegetable in such a surprising way that I saved all the remaining broth and used it to braise more Swiss chard for my next night’s dinner – so good!
If you enjoy clams, add this recipe to your recipe box. When you decide to make it, buy some Swiss chard too. You’ll see what I mean about using the broth as a braising liquid. This dish is practically a 2-for-1. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ tablespoons minced ginger
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Oyster flavored sauce (available at Asian grocery stores)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 pounds Littleneck or Manila clams, rinsed and scrubbed
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 small lemon, cut into wedges
- Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant but not burned. Stir in the Oyster sauce followed by the chicken broth. When the broth begins to gently simmer, add the clams. Cover the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until clams have opened. Discard any closed clams. Add the parsley and give the pot a quick stir. Transfer the clams and broth to a large serving bowl with lemon wedges on the side.