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Thai-style Steamed Clams

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A few weeks ago, when my friend Eat A Duck I Must came to shoot my cookbook promo video for me, I made her a killer pot of Penang Assam laksa. After she left, all the remaining spices had been sitting in my fridge in a dark corner—lemongrass, bird’s eye chilies, galangal, and lime juice. Last week, my market was having a sale of Manila clams and I thought about a great recipe that would make use of the spices. I made this yummy Thai-style steamed clams

Thai Steamed Clams

This steamed clams dish is everything Thai food is all about: hot, sour, aromatic, and addictive. Other than the spices, the secret ingredient is coconut water. You can get canned coconut water at Asian stores, however, water is fine as the clams are naturally briny and flavorful. I must say that the coconut water does add a subtle sweetness to the overall dish, and pairs perfectly with the exotic aromas of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

Try this Thai steamed clams recipe the next time you have some Thai ingredients at hand. I am certain you will enjoy the great taste.

Thai Steamed Clams


Thai-style Steamed Clams

Serves 2 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes


12 oz. clams, rinsed and scrubbed
1 tablespoon oil
1 stalk lemongrass, white-part only, cut diagonally
3 slices galangal
6 bird’s eyes chilies, lightly pounded
1/2 cup coconut water
6 kaffir lime leaves, slightly bruised
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce or to taste
2 teaspoons lime juice


Heat up a wok with the oil. When the oil is heated, add the lemongrass, galangal, bird’s eye chilies and do a few quick stirs. Add the clams and stir to combine, follow by the coconut water. Add the kaffir lime leaves and cover the wok. Cook the clams for about 2-3 minutes or until all clams are open. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. Stir to blend well, dish out and serve immediately.

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