Kam Heong Clams (Golden Fragrant Clams)
February 13th, 2012 33 Comments

Kam Heong Clams (Golden Fragrant Clams)

Kam Heong Clams
Kam Heong Clams pictures (1 of 4)

“Kam Heong” is a signature Malaysian stir-fry style that is renowned for the fragrance imparted during the cooking process, hence the Cantonese term “Kam Heong (金香)”, which means “Golden Fragrance”. This one-of-a-kind style of stir-frying incorporates ingredients from Malay, Chinese, and Indian cooking to produce one of the most mouth-watering palate I have ever exposed my taste buds to.

The main ingredients that give the “Kam Heong” dish its unique taste are fiery bird’s eye chilies, aromatic curry leaves, crispy bits of dried shrimp, savory curry powder and soy bean paste. Stir-frying these ingredients together yields a sauce that goes well with chicken, crab, squid, shrimp, pork and especially clams. Kam Heong Clams (金香拉拉) or Kam Heong Lala (known in Malaysia) is one of the most popular hawker creations “Dai Pai Dong” (大排档) (Cantonese for “open-air food stall”). I have cooked plenty of styles in clam dishes, eg. Thai-style Hoy Lai Ped, Taiwanese-style Clams, Japanese-style Asari No Sakamushi, and Kam Heong Clams is by far my favorite recipe for clams.

Kam Heong Clams

Sometimes the most romantic setting for Valentine’s Day can be as simple as an exotic and seductive seafood dish and a bottle of wine. I am sure Kam Heong Clams is one of the dish to impress your loved one and hopefully you can make this in time for the special day, if not, any other day.

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33 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Sookie says:

    I miss this dish! But my area don’t sell clams.. :(
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lee Fielder says:

    I want to try this, but I get a file not found message when I click on the recipe.

  3. Lee Fielder says:

    Ooops. Click the page 2 button and it works, but the link doesn’t.

  4. kankana says:

    I love shell fish. This looks so yum and with curry leaves.. that’s pretty amazing.

  5. tigerstripedswan says:

    Hi, RM this sounds so delicious. Is fermented soy bean paste a type of miso paste? Please provide pictures or brands if possible. I don’t want to mess it up – 1.5 lbs is a lot of clams. Thanks!

    • Rasa Malaysia says:

      Its labeled ground soy beans or soybean paste, mostly packed in a glass jar. You can find them at the Asian grocery markets in the sauce section. Some brands may carry both ground and whole soy beans, eg. Yeo’s brand. If you choose whole soybeans, you have to mash or ground them into paste.

  6. I read this before I going to sleep… make me feel so hungry. gonna try this menu this week. thanks for sharing.

  7. Nur Hitam via Facebook says:

    thanks :)

  8. Wee Bong via Facebook says:

    Thanks for sharing:)

  9. madonna says:

    where do you normally find curry leaves or can i substitute something else if not available?

    • Rasa Malaysia says:

      You can find them mostly at the Indian grocery store. Substituting curry leaves will totally alter the taste of an authentic Kam Heong Clams dish. However, you can get creative and create a whole entire dish with, lets say mint or basil. You can give it a try and see how it pans out.

  10. I am not so much of a shell fish lover, but that looks so delicious!! Thanks for the recipe, Bee. Might have to try more delicious shellfish recipes in the future :)

  11. Is ‘soybean paste’ 豆瓣酱?

  12. My wife does the best Kam Heong chicken in the southern hemisphere. She can only do it with my prolific curry leaf plants in our backyard in Perth! :-)

  13. Sweet Tim says:

    I remember enjoying a Kam Heong La La dish on my mother’s birthday. Wasn’t exactly crazy about it as I don’t like clams, but hey, give me Kam Heong Chicken anytime! Bee, I’ll apply your recipe on chicken instead :D

  14. I just bumped in your blog looking for clams recipes. I really like them. But those clams look much bigger than British clams. Can you tell me the clam variety or for which area of the country are?. Thank you

  15. I love clams…
    I have to try this recipe soon…

  16. Hi, can I skip the wine in this recipe?

  17. martin fischer says:

    Is there a substitute for dried shrimp? I am allergic to shrimp. Is fish sauce a consideration? I can tolerate it. Thanks, Marty Fischer

    • Rasa Malaysia says:

      I don’t think there’s any other ingredient to replace the dried shrimp flavor. You can omit it, and your wonderful suggestion of using fish sauce is a great idea. I say we give it a go!

  18. NINA OOI LAY LEE says:


    • Rasa Malaysia says:

      You need to register with Rasamalaysia to enable to print the recipe, else just use print screen function.

  19. Larry Tay says:

    The clams recipe is super, wow
    the best and is better than singapore

  20. SmilingRabbit says:

    This is a wonderful recipe. Cooked it several times already. Very delicious.

  21. I love this dish and great to now know the five ingredients that give the “kam heong” fragrance.

  22. chris says:

    Could you provide picture of all the ingredients, condiments and sauces you use for the recipes?

  23. Dija says:


    Can I replace Shaoxing wine with anything else halal?

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