Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thai-Style Clams/Mussels with Chili and Basil (Paht Peht Hoy Lai)

This is a clam dish, but I've also substituted with mussels, which work just as well. Thai roasted chili paste is a traditional component, but short of that, you can just add chopped shallots, fresh chiles, and garlic as a substitute, which is what I used for this recipe. So good and so easy!


Ingredients:
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. chopped garlic (about 6-8 cloves)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 jalapeños or Fresno chiles, seeded and sliced
2 lbs. Manila clams, well scrubbed or mussels (scrubbed and debearded)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
3-4 cups Thai basil leaves (ok to substitute with regular sweet basil)

1. Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan. Add the garlic, shallots and fresh chiles and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.

2. Add the clams or mussels and 1/2 cup of water. Bring up to heat, stir, cover and cook 1-2 minutes or until they have opened.

3. Add the fish sauce and sugar and stir to combine. Add the basil, turn off the heat and stir well.

4. Serve with steamed white jasmine rice. 

Basil, fish sauce, dried chiles, chopped shallots, garlic and jalapeño chiles.  

Rinse and scrub the shells of the mussels or clams. To test if they are still alive, touch any open shells with your finger and if they don't close up, then they're dead and should be discarded. Shellfish should be stored in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator not more than 1-2 days before using (do not soak in water). 

If using mussels, you might find a "beard" which is a clump of seaweed-like fibers coming out from the shell. Gently tug at and remove the "beard" before using.  

 Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan. Add the garlic, shallots and fresh chiles and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.

 Add the clams or mussels and 1/2 cup of water. Bring up to heat and stir.

  Cover and cook 1-2 minutes or until they have opened.

 Add the fish sauce and sugar and stir to combine. Add the basil, turn off the heat and stir well.


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