These stir-fried clams, a traditional Chinese recipe, are cooked in a wok or skillet with clam juice, bean sauce, soy sauce, shallots, garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes. Easy and quick, this comes together in 30 minutes.
Stir-fried clams smothered in a bean sauce creates something that’s spicy, salty, and sweet, all at once, from just a handful of simple Asian ingredients. Something truly magnificent on the table in just 25 minutes. –Angie Zoobkoff
What is Bean Sauce?
First, let’s say what it’s not: Bean sauce isn’t black bean sauce. In most Asian markets, you’ll find both bean sauce (aka ground bean sauce) and black bean sauce. They’re not interchangeable. Both are made from soybeans but each has a totally different taste. Bean sauce–which is what you’ll need for this recipe–is thick, aromatic, and made from soybeans, salt, wheat flour, sugar, salt, and sesame seed oil. My favorite brand is Koon Chun, which is generally sold only in Chinese markets but is also available on Amazon. If you can’t find bean sauce, you can use chili bean sauce, but it has the addition of chilies and spices. Lee Kum Kee is a good brand.
Black bean sauce, on the other hand, is made from soybeans which have been salted and dried. The dried soybeans are rinsed to remove most of the salt and mashed with garlic and soy sauce. I never buy jarred black bean sauce because making it from scratch is so easy. The flavor is far superior, and it doesn’t contain all the preservatives and artificial ingredients found in the commercial variety.
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 25 M
- Serves 1 to 2
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Recipe Testers Reviews
A quick and flavor packed dish! At our house we cook clams often and I am always looking for a new and different way to serve them. The depth of flavor is complex for such a quick to cook dish. This dish makes an outstanding quick weeknight dinner served over some basmati rice. I served this as a component of Asian family style dinner that included a chicken dish, a lo mein and stir-fried broccoli. Prep can be done several hours in advance and then the stir-fry done before serving.