Monday, November 16, 2009

Dinner Fast: Black Bean Clams Recipe

I thought I should get back to the roots of my blog, which is to come up with quick-and-easy recipes that single people can make because 1) they don’t have the time because they’re too busy trying to mate, or 2) they want something special because single people deserve to eat well, too.

So in these “Dinner Fast” videos, I’m showing some simple recipes that are super fast to make. And nothing’s faster than seafood, and here I make one of the classic Chinese dishes of black bean clams stir-fry. It’s so easy, especially if you use the black bean sauce from the jar. (Or you can go ferment your own black beans and then pound them with garlic to make your own sauce. I’m not.)

In case you don’t believe this recipe is easy, just count how many times I say “quick and easy” in the video. :P

Below is the actual recipe for you to follow after you see my quick-and-easy demo. Enjoy!

Black Bean Clams

Copyright 2009 by Cooking With The Single Guy

1 lb. manila clams (about 12-15), scrubbed
1 T black bean sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t red chili flakes
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
2 T canola or vegetable oil
cilantro for garnish

In large wok or skillet, heat oil over high heat, then add garlic and black bean sauce and cook for about 30 seconds. Add clams and let them cook covered for about two minutes. Check to make sure the wok hasn’t dried out. Add either chicken broth or water (about a quarter cup) and cook until the clams start to open up (another 3 to 5 minutes).

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with a bit of water to create a slurry. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot wok to thicken the broth. (Add a little of the cornstarch at a time to get the consistency that you want in the gravy.) Finish off by adding the chili flakes to taste.

Place in bowl and garnish with a twig of cilantro. Serve with steamed rice.

Makes one serving. Pair with sake.

TIP: Pick up your clams in the seafood section of your supermarket after work and make your dish fresh. But if you’re not cooking your clams right away, place the clams in a brown paper bag (moisten the bottom with some water) and refrigerate.

BLACK BEAN SAUCE: This sauce is so popular that it’s pretty easy to find in most Asian stores or in the Asian foods aisle of most stores. Lee Kum Kee is the brand found in most stores, just refrigerate after opening. Because this is salty from the fermented black beans, I usually don’t add salt to the dishes that I make using this sauce.

Other recipes you might like:
Black Bean Clams Pasta
Mapo Tofu demo
Making Won Tons


Palidor said...

That looks fabulous. I've never cooked clams at home before. I should give it a try... but I can't find any brand of black bean sauce that doesn't contain wheat. Darn!

foodhoe said...

The shot of the clams with the chili peppers looks mighty fine to me. How is wokking on the electric range? I haven't tried it, but for this dish it seems like you won't need super high heat. What else foodwise would you serve with it? Now you've got me craving clams!

Hungry Dog said...

Oh my god, this is awesome! I might put a link to it on my blog if you don't mind. This teaches a great, versatile technique. I like your comment about single people being too busy trying to mate. That really made me laugh!

Single Guy Ben said...

Palidor, does black beans have gluten? If not, then you may actually have to make your own black bean sauce. Just by the fermented beans that are dry, then soak overnight and next day pounded them together with minced garlic to a pulp and then you get sort of a similar sauce.

Foodhoe, yeah, I miss not cooking with gas. But luckily my wok has a flat bottom that helps, and you're right that clams don't really need that much to get them going. I make the clams with steamed rice and a plate of greens, like sauteed Chinese brocolli or greens.

Hungry Dog, thanks! Feel free to embed. The coding pops up from YouTube at the end. :)

Carolyn Jung said...

This is one of my all-time fave Cantonese dishes. Whenever I spy it on an old-school menu, I must order it. So good with rice, too.

Jenster said...

I love black bean clams so much that, back in Hawaii, my parents would always order two servings of it in Chinese restaurants so I could have my own order!

Never realized this was such an easy dish to make! I'm excited to try it at home. Thanks, Ben.