Stir-Fried Clams with Thai Chili Jam and Basil

Stir-Fried Clams with Thai Chili Jam and Basil

[Photograph: Leela Punyaratabandhu]

With Nam Prik Pao and additional juice released from the clams, this stir-fry already packs so much flavor that you may not even need to add any fish sauce. The procedure is quite simple and straightforward. The only caution would be that you should not use a nonstick pan for this as the clam shells can create scratches on its surface.

If you don't like clams, you can use ¾ pound of shrimp or squid which works extremely well in this dish also. Don't like seafood, use ¾ pound of bite-sized pieces of pork tenderloin or chicken breast.

  • Yield:serves 2
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup store-bought or homemade Nam Prik Pao (Thai chili jam)
  • 2 pounds of small clams, cleaned
  • 3 large red or green jalapeño peppers, cut lengthwise diagonally
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • One cup of fresh Thai basil leaves, loosely packed

Directions

  1. 1.

    Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or a wok over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and fry until it’s fragrant and just starting to turn light brown.

  2. 2.

    Stir in Nam Prik Pao; mix well.

  3. 3.

    Add the clams and sliced peppers to the pan; close the lid. Shake the clams around to make sure they open up and are cooked evenly. After about 2 minutes, open the lid. Pick out the clams that don’t open up and discard them.

  4. 4.

    Check for seasoning. Add fish sauce to taste.

  5. 5.

    Stir in the basil leaves. Once they’re wilted, remove the pan from heat. Serve over rice.