These tender Cantonese-style clams with bok choy in an earthy and savory sauce have a number of common Chinese flavors: the pungent taste of fermented, salted black beans, the tangy jolt of fresh ginger, the dryness of Chinese rice wine, the saline tang of shellfish.
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1/2 pound dried Chinese wheat noodles or tagliatelle
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for tossing
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese oyster sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large scallion, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
2 pounds littleneck clams or cockles, scrubbed
2 cups tightly packed, coarsely chopped bok choy leaves (from 1 medium head)
How to Make It
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the noodles until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Toss the noodles with a little vegetable oil.
In a small bowl, whisk the chicken stock with the rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil.
In a wok, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok until shimmering. Add the garlic, scallion, ginger, black beans and crushed red pepper and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the clams and stir-fry over moderate heat until most of them have opened, about 3 minutes.
Add the coarsely chopped bok choy and stir-fry until wilted. Stir the sauce and add it to the wok. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens and all the clams are opened, about 1 minute; discard any clams that don't open. Add the noodles and toss well. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.
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