Another fantastic dish that takes me back to the beach is razor clams sauteed in tamarind sauce. This dish is sweet, sour and just finger licking good. We used razor clams for this dish but you can use any large shellfish. The trick is to get a type of shellfish where the shell will hold the sauce. For every bite, you get both the sauce and the meat. You first saw this dish in our Weekend Unexplored: Phu Quoc’s post. Today we will recreate that dish for you.
This dish serves two people and is rated easy.
A dozen clams of your choice
½ cup of wet tamarind paste (tamarind paste is usually sold in blocks at any Asian supermarket.)
½ cup of rough chopped Thai basil, culantro, cilantro mix (reserve some for garnishing)
4 red whole chili peppers for flavor (leave them whole as the seeds will increase the spiciness level)
3 cloves of garlic minced
½ cup of can pineapple chunks
½ cup of water
3 tablespoon of pineapple syrup juice from the can
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
¼ cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of crushed peanuts (Planters Salted Peanuts is a fast alternative. You will only need to crush them)
1 tablespoon of fried crispy shallots (You can find fried, crispy shallots at an asian supermarket. Fresh Gourmet Crispy Onions Lightly Salted is a good substitute from any grocery store)
Thickening starch agent:
½ tablespoon of tapioca starch
½ tablespoon of water
*Mix both together until there are no more clumps and set aside
Heat the pan on high until it gets really hot (*put a few drops of water on the pan. The water should be sizzling)
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to coat the pan
Add garlic to the pan until they become golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic or they will taste bitter.
Add the tamarind paste, the herb mixture (Thai basil, culantro, cilantro), 4 red whole chili peppers, and pineapple chunks to the pan. Let them saute for 5 minutes.
Add water, fish sauce, pineapple juice and sugar to the pan. Let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the clams and incorporate them into the sauce for 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and push the clams to the side of the pan. Slowly stir in the thickening starch agent.
Mix the clams and the thickened sauce so the sauce is evenly distributed.
Transfer the clams to a serving dish and top with the remaining herb mix, peanuts and crispy shallots.
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