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Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Both Thai and Vietnamese cuisines use healthy amounts of horapah basil (Thai basil), an aromatic plant with purple sterns and shiny leaves. Most Asian markets carry it, but you may substitute the more common Italian, or sweet, basil, if necessary. Serve these fiery clams with plenty of steamed jasmine rice and a Northwest ale. From The Pacific Northwest (Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking) by Jean Galton.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 Thai chiles or 1 jalapenos or 1 serrano chili, seeded and cut into long, narrow strips
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into long, narrow strips (capsicum)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into long narrow strips (capsicum)
- 3 lbs manila clams or 3 lbs littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon thai roasted chili paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1⁄2 cup fresh horapah basil or 1⁄2 cup other basil leaves, torn if large
- 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves
- Place a large, deep frying pan or wok over high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add the canola oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the garlic.
- Cook, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chile pepper and the red and yellow bell peppers and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly cooked, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the clams, discarding any that fail to close to the touch.
- Stir to coat with the oil.
- Cook, tossing and stirring, for 2 minutes, then stir in the chile paste and the fish sauce.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the clams have opened, 3-5 minutes longer.
- Stir in the basil and mint.
- Transfer the clams to a platter or serving bowl, discarding any that failed to open.
- Serve immediately.