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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Manila Clams with Chinese White Wine Chili Paste Sauce

Time flies when you're having fun.
I'm having fun with my life and it's already September! In a heartbeat, we will talk Thanksgiving soon and celebrate for 2012.  It's hard to believe the year is almost over. I feel the same way with this cooking group. I don't remember how many months it has been but it feels so great to be in the group. That's right; it's that time of month again. This month is cooking with wine! Don't tell me this doesn't excite you. Who doesn't like wine!? Although you may not be a drinker, believe me alcohol makes food taste much better!

I'm a lightweight; however, when it comes to cooking, I pour wholeheartedly in and sink myself in aroma. This dish is a simple dish but with my take on the sauce.  I was originally going to use Sake as a substitute for the wine ingredient but I realized I had Chinese wine- Dragon's Hollow- I won from Trix at Tasty Trix for her giveaway. They claim that they're the first premium wines produced in China. I got an un-oaked Chardonnay. I'm not a wine expert so I'm not able to tell you much about flavor. All I know is it tastes good. Feel free to use any wine you like or Sake.

Thai chili paste is a key ingredient here. Its flavor is bold. It's used in cashew nut chicken and spicy noodle (Pad Kee Mao) if you've ordered it at  a Thai restaurant. I think it would be interesting to make a sauce out of it and with wine!

Thai Chili Paste

This sauce has a kick. If you have low spicy-tolerance, sorry, this dish isn't for you.
I used red basil instead of regular basil because it has a licorice flavor and goes well with Asian cuisine. You can serve over cooked noodles, rice, or bread.
Manila Clams with Chinese White Wine Chili Paste Sauce
Yield: 6 servings

3 lbs Manila clams
3 Tbs Thai chili paste
1/2 cup Chinese wine or Sake
1/4 cup Chicken stock
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Tbs fish sauce
1 packed cup red basil
Cooked noodle
1 Tbs walnut oil

Sauté onions, garlic, and chili paste

Reduced wine and chicken stock
  • Heat up large sauce pan. Add oil. Swirl to coat.
  • Add onion and saute until it's translucent. Add garlic. Cook until brown.
  • Add chili paste. Stir a few times. Add wine. Simmer until it's reduced by half.
  • Add chicken stock, sugar, and fish sauce. Gently simmer until it's reduced by a quarter.
  • Add clams. Close lid and shake occasionally. Cook until all clams are open. Discard ones that are close. Adjust seasoning.
  • Turn off the heat. Add basil and stir a few times.
  • Serve with cooked noodle or serve as appetizer.
Turn off the heat and add basil to finish

Serve it as appetizer or meal with bread or noodles

Or serve it over cooked noodles

Have you tried a Blue Marlin fillet? Man, this fish is meaty and it almost tastes like chicken!

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Trix said...

I am so excited that you used your Dragon's Hollow wine in the challenge!!! What a unique dish - so original, and I would LOVE it as I adore hot and spicy foods!

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

The Chinese Dragon's Hollow was the perfect wine to use for your spicy Asian sauce! Love the flavors and gorgeous presentation, T!

Pachecopatty said...

Oh I love the way you layer in those fresh herbs!!! Beautiful presentation of a delicious and unique dish using clams with your special wine;-) I know I would love this....especially with a little kick to it!

Magic of Spice said...

1. I am a wine lover. 2. I have a high spicy tolerance ;) 3. This is just gorgeous!!! Beautiful flavors and the presentation is just stunning!

Faith said...

What a great dish! The sauce sounds so flavorful, and I really love the addition of red basil. Your presentation is gorgeous!

lostpastremembered said...

You know, the minute I saw your dish I said, why don't I eat more clams... I love them and yet eat them so rarely, I mean DUH!!!

Your recipe is brilliant and your photos inspiring... don't you love this cooking group? The breadth of cooking styles is so exhilarating.

Foodiva said...

What a wonderful way to use your giveaway prize! I share Trix's excitement because I love your bold flavors and presentation. If I can have someone cook clams for me like this, I'd eat them everyday!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Fantastic dish. Love your use of wine. Big, bold flavors. Presentation and photo are top notch.

Great job!

FOODalogue said...

That's a beautiful presentation -- and I bet equally tasty!

Marisa said...

Hey Tanantha, great dish as always. I love spicy and I know I would really enjoy this. Clams in a sauce with heat sounds perfectly mouthwatering!

Linda Harding said...

Everything about this dish just gets me salivating... the ingredients, the recipe, the beautiful photos... your technique and styling is exquisite!

Daily Spud said...

How gorgeous is that?! I am more than ok with Asian flavours and a good spicy kick, so I reckon this is the dish for me :)

Vicki Bensinger said...

I love this dish and the way you've plated it. Such a lovely dish that's not complex yet full of flavor. I would definitely serve this to my dinner guests. Well done.

Jessica said...

Wonderful job!!!!! Totally 5 Star restaurant worthy! It's such a gorgeous and creative dish. I love the spice from the chili paste and the classic wine and clam combination. Did I mention that I love Manila clams? This is such a beautiful dish!

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ said...

i can't take spice too well, don't do shellfish but girl, i swear this looks so pretty it makes me want to break my own rules! goodness gracious! so lovely. and I love the sake option!

Angie's Recipes said...

The sauce sounds really intriguing and pairs so well with clams.
Well done!

angela@spinachtiger said...

A lovely well thought out recipe with lots of flavor. Good challenge post.

Lori Lynn said...

Oh, that dish sounds wonderful, so full of flavor. Love how you plated it, very creative. Excellent addition to the Cooking Group event!

LeQuan said...

Omg Tanantha, DROOL! You know how I love seafood and clams are one of my faves! Love everything about this dish, from the spiciness to the use of wine. I use basil to stir fry eggplants sometimes and it definitely gives a dish that extra something special. Great flavours and photos as always, my dear.

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