Stir-Fried Clams

Stir-Fried Clams

by Leite Culinaria Editors, edited by Ya Fang Qian


  • 1 ½ dozen littleneck clams
  • ⅓ cup canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock or clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon jarred Asian bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon minced Thai chile pepper, with seeds,or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions 


  1. Clean the clams: Thoroughly rinse the clams in several changes of cold water, discarding any open clams. Scrub the shells with a stiff brush to remove grit and rinse well. Drain the clams in a colander, shaking out the excess water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Mix the sauce: In a small bowl combine the broth, bean sauce, and soy sauce.
  3. Heat the wok and stir-fry the aromatics: Set a 14-inch (35-cm) flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch (30-cm) skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, about 30 seconds. Carefully swirl in the oil, then add the shallots, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir-fry the clams: Add the clams and stir-fry for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the chile or pepper flakes and stir-fry until well combined, about 30 seconds. Swirl the broth mixture into the wok, cover, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring every minute.
  5. Reduce the sauce: Uncover and stir-fry until the shells are fully open, about 1 minute more. Transfer any opened clams to a platter and continue stir-frying, uncovered, over high heat until all the shells have opened and the broth mixture has reduced to a saucy consistency, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.

Garnish and serve the clams: Stir in the scallions and pour the sauce over the clams.

Photo: Steven Needham