I have always thought clams are slightly too “fishy” so there is only one way that I can truly enjoy this funny type of shellfish. Stir fry them with rich spices and mask it up with ginger or galangal. The only thing I would like to retain from the original clams-related flavor is the giddying texture of the clam meat and the enjoyment of sucking the shell loudly, even after the meat is all gone. Ha.

Nik picked up a couple of kilos of clams from the wet market yesterday and showed me how to make this. The real twist is the fermented bean paste used. I think it will never be the same if it is prepared without our precious yet smelly taoco. As I always said, two stinkies equal one tasty dish.


Stir-Fried Clams with Chili and Bean Paste

Makes 4 servings


For spice paste
10 (40 g) red chili
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots
50 g palm sugar, shaved
1 tbsp fermented bean paste (taoco)

1,5 kg clams
2" fresh galangal (25 gr), lightly smashed
1 tomato, quartered
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cooking oil


Wash clams under runny water and rub shells lightly with salts and quickly rinse with more clean water
Grind ingredients for spices in a grinder till resembles grainy paste
Heat cooking oil in a wok and stir fry spice paste, tomato pieces and galangal for 3 minutes over high heat, till fragrant
Toss in the clams, mix well with the rest of the ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes
Add cornstarch and stir till everything mix together. Remove when the sauce starts to thicken, in about 2-3 mnutes.

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10 Responses to “Stir-Fried Clams with Chili and Bean Paste”

  1. 1

    noobcook — May 27, 2009 @ 8:32 am

    omg I love clams. Must try! U use chilli padi or the bigger (n less spicy) type of chilli?

    noobcook’s last blog post..Home Made Vegetable Broth

  2. 2

    Fearless Kitchen — May 27, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

    I actually like clams, but this still looks really delicious to me. I like the galangal.

    Fearless Kitchen’s last blog post..Recipe: Rice with Grilled Halloumi and Tomatoes

  3. 3

    Figtreeapps — May 28, 2009 @ 1:37 am

    Im sure this tastes as delicious as this looks..Figtreeapps

    Figtreeapps’s last blog post..Seared Stripped Bass

  4. 4

    Jun — May 28, 2009 @ 4:00 am

    I used bigger type of red chili – the curly ones (in Indonesia we called them cabai merah keriting)

    Fearless Kitchen,
    The galangal was very overwhelming, but it is the perfect mask for the fishy smell

    Thank you!

  5. 5

    iamallthatiam — May 28, 2009 @ 4:51 am

    It looks absolutely delicious! I would make it but no clams here.

  6. 6

    mycookinghut — June 1, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

    I love clams! I haven’t had this dish for soooo long!

  7. 7

    Farina — June 1, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

    Jun, that looks so good. I havent seen these kind of clams at the supermarket here.

    Farina’s last blog post..May Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 – Summer Party Malaysian-Style

  8. 8

    Shari — June 10, 2009 @ 3:07 am

    These look terrific! And just enough flavoring to give it a bit of a kick!

    Shari’s last blog post..Bread Baker’s Apprentice—Bagels

  9. 9

    Happysurfer — July 13, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    This dish looks so good! I bet it tastes just as good.

    Hi Jun, how are you?

    Happysurfer’s last blog post..Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival is Back!

  10. 10

    asianfoodophile — August 5, 2011 @ 3:00 am

    Adding some shrimp paste will make it more delicious.

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