I’ve taken it upon me to download whatever torrent file I could get my grubby hands on when I was home a few days ago. Having lived for two months with a plug-it that’s mediocre at best made me more appreciative of the blazing fast internet I have at home. It’s good for the soul, coming home to country comfort.
My mom and I went to the wet market on Saturday to buy some ingredients we need for a little picnic the following day. Before I left, I wanted to have a picnic with my family but things got in the way and it didn’t happen. This time, we made sure that our schedules were wide open. Anyway, there were mounds and mounds of clams in different sizes, (around 5 – 8 per mound) for sale that morning. I didn’t pass up the chance to buy around two mounds because I was inspired by Kumar (of MasterChef AU fame) to cook clams with curry. I’m a big fan of MasterChef Australia, so much in fact, that this blog has thrived after feeding off the show’s happy juju. Thanks to incredible download speeds, I was up-to-date with this season’s offering. The latest season is an All-Stars edition, pitting 4 fan favorites each from season 1 – 3 against each other for charity. In one of the challenges, where it was season 1 vs 2 vs 3 in an all-Indian challenge, Kumar from season 3 cooked mussels (tahong) in coconut milk flavored with a homemade spice mix. We don’t get a lot of really good mussels but clams were in abundance.
Clams and mussels taste like the sea so much that the flavor is unmistakable. It does wonders to soups, rice and now, I can curry to the list. Like most of my kitchen experiments, it was the first time I cooked clams with curry so I just went with gut feel on taste and seasoning.
The garam masala was still in the pantry, albeit a little milder in flavor, and mom always keeps a supply of coconut cream in tetra packs for convenience. I was home…and it was game time. Another home run for the clams.
Clam Curry (serves 2 – 3)
- around 15 clams
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 3 tablespoons curry powder (what I used: 1 1/2 tablespoon garam masala + 1 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder), or more to taste
- one 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- half a bulb of garlic, minced
- 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 2 bell peppers (preferably 1 red and 1 green), sliced into thin strips
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch pechay or bok choy, roughly chopped
- 1 finger chili, sliced, or red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a medium-sized pan or sauce pan, preferably with a lid, add a splash or two of oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Allow to toast until fragrant then add the onions. Cook until onions start to go limp. Add the lemongrass and bell peppers and stir everything together.
- Add the coconut cream and the spices (and if you’re using it, the chili). Mix everything together until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer.
- Add the clams and cover the pan. Allow to cook, making sure to discard the clams that do not open.
- Add the pechay at the last minute, stir everything together , let it cook for a bit then remove from heat. Serve warm and enjoy!