One of Choi’s first chef jobs was at an L.A. country club where he made New England clam chowder every Friday. This lighter, Asian-inflected version includes green curry paste, coconut milk and plenty of lime juice.
Warming Soup Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook
1 small baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fennel
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
One 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 dozen Manila or littleneck clams
3 cups chopped clams with their juices
Freshly ground pepper
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Thai basil and rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), for garnish
How to Make It
Cook the potato in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water just until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
In a large saucepan, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until light golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the fennel, garlic and green curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and lime juice and return to a simmer. Add the potato, Manila clams and the chopped clams and their juices. Cover and cook until the Manila clams open, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Season the chowder with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro, basil and rau ram and serve warm.
Zesty, herb-scented Sauvignon Blanc: 2012 Brander Santa Ynez Valley
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