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Coconut Lemongrass Clams หอยลายต้มข่า (hoi lai tom ka)
- Yield: Serves 2
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed until broken and cut into chunks
- 5 thin slices galangal
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn
- 2-3 Thai chilies, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 1.5 tsp palm sugar, finely chopped or granulated sugar
- 2 lb live clams
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Fish sauce or salt, as needed
- ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro and/or green onions
Clean the clams well in cold water, if the shells feels slimy, give them a scrub. Discard any clams that are broken or are open and won't close after you tap them.
Purging clams of their grits: If you buy farmed clams from the supermarket, most of them will have been purged, but if you're buying wild clams, ask the vendor if they have been purged. If not, place the clams in salted water (3 Tbsp sea salt to 2 L water) for about 1 hour without disturbing them. After this time, they should spit out any sand inside them.
Add coconut milk, chicken stock, shallots lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilies and sugar to a large pot with a lid. Cover and bring to a boil. Add clams, cover and cook for 2-3 mins or until all clams are open. Remove from heat, add lime juice, cilantro, and stir to mix. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning with more fish sauce or salt if needed.
Transfer to a serving bowl. If any clams are still closed, you can try steaming them again for another minute or so to see if they will open (some clams seem to be late bloomers!). If they still don’t open, discard them.
Tastes amazing, I think it's even nicer than the chicken version of tom ka. It's a bit fiddly to eat so I don't do it as often, but to impress someone it's a great dish