I came across an interesting recipe for marinated clams in one of my Chinese cookery books recently (this one translated into both English and Spanish, as it happens). The recipe called for raw clams and used a marinade employing red chili and a fair amount of soy sauce and vinegar. I still had a package of the Mirabel Brand Pre-Cooked Frozen Clams that I used in my Clams with White Wine and Basil experiment not long ago and I thought that they might do nicely in a similar preparation as long as the marinade was a little lighter…
- 1 lb. Small Clams in the shell
- ½ cup Water
- ½ cup Rice Wine
- ¼ cup Light Soy Sauce
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 2 tbsp. Pickled Ginger slices (or 2 slices fresh Ginger)
- 1 large Garlic Clove
Peel the garlic clove and give it a good whack with the side of a kitchen knife to crush it. Add all the ingredients except the clams into a large measuring cup and stir vigorously to dissolve the sugar. Now put the clams into a bowl with any liquor they have thrown off and pour over the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When you are ready to serve, pick the clams from the marinade and arrange them attractively in a serving dish and garnish however you like. To garnish this experiment, I sprinkled over a chiffonade of spinach leaf (all I had on hand) and a slice of lemon.
I though this was pretty decent. I was a little afraid that the marinade might overwhelm the delicate flavor of the clams but the sweetness came through beautifully. My wife wasn’t sure how much she liked it when she tasted the first one but by the third she was won over. The only way I might change the dish would be to cut down on the ginger a little bit, and maybe substitute a little lemon juice for some of the vinegar. In a future experiment, I might try the same technique with either fresh clams or mussels.