Stir-Fried Clams in Black Bean Sauce

"This delicious recipe is by the late Chinese chef Yan-kit So. It is beyond words."
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  • 24 clams, about 1 . 4kg (3 lbs, approximately)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 4 -5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cm fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 -5 spring onions, cut into 2 . 5 cm sections, white and green parts separated
  • 1 12 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed, mashed
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shaosing wine or 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons clear stock or 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame oil (optional)
  • hot steamed rice


  • Leave the clams in water with a little salt until ready to use. Scrub the shells very thoroughly.
  • Heat a wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic, ginger and white spring onion. Stir and let them sizzle for a few moments to release their aroma. Add the mashed black beans and stir to mix. Tip in the clams. Sliding the wok scoop or metal spatula to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss for 30-45 seconds. Splash in the wine and sherry around the side of the wok, continuing to turn and stir. When the sizzling dies down, add the soy sauce, sugar and stock or water. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat to medium and cook for about eight minutes.
  • Remove the opened clams with a pair of chopsticks or tongs to a warm serving platter and keep warm. Stir and turn the remainder a few times and cook, covered, for another four to five minutes so that they will open. Transfer the rest to the serving platter, leaving the sauce in the wok. Discard any clams that do not open.
  • Lower the heat, add the well-stirred cornstarch to the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Tip in the green spring onion. Scoop the sauce on to the clams and serve immediately. Sesame oil may be sprinkled on, if desired.
  • Serve over hot, steamed rice.

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<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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