When summer comes around, I automatically think of all the good seafood that are available. One very simple and fragrant dish that can serve a crowd is the classic steamed clams with lemongrass, Thai basil and ginger. The clams are then dipped into a a mixture of salt, pepper and lime juice. This dish is an easy summer delight for those nights when you do not want to cook over a hot stove for hours.
This recipe is rated easy and takes 30 minutes.
50 Littleneck clams
4 Stalks of lemongrass
1 very large ginger
1 Tablespoon of rock sugar
A few red Thai chili for a hint of spice
5-6 stalks of Thai basil
Salt and ground pepper for the dipping sauce
Cut the lemongrass stalks into 3 parts and discard the thin ends (shown tied with a rubber band).
Split the thick white part of the lemongrass in half.
Cut the ginger into thick slices.
Break the basil into 3 pieces and discard the ends.
In a large and deep pan, boil 3 cups of water, ginger slices, 1 tablespoon of rock sugar and half of the lemongrass stalks for at least 15 minutes with the cover on. This will allow enough time for the lemongrass and ginger to release their flavors. Add more water to get to the same water line (3 cups) if too much water has evaporated.
Add the clams and add the remaining lemongrass to the top and close the lid for approximately 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add the Thai basil and close the lid. The clams should be cook within the next few minutes.
When the clams starts to open (takes a few minutes), remove from the heat.
Serve the clams with the a mixture of salt, ground pepper and enough lime juice to wet the mixture.