Cooking, Food, Vietnamese Food

Steamed Clams – Nghêu Hấp Xả

April 7, 2016

NgheuHap-2

This has got to be the simplest recipe ever! Last year my friends and I had a picnic at an oyster farm in Tomales Bay, where besides great oysters you can also get fresh clams by the bagful. I used this recipe for the clams and it was a hit with everyone. While fellow guests at nearby BBQ tables were wondering how to cook their clams, we were happily slurping them along with the coconut juice that they had been steamed in. This recipe is easily adjustable, just add more coconut water, a pinch more salt, and a handful of lemongrass.

You will need:

  • 3 lbs fresh, juicy clams (3 lbs nghêu tươi)
  • A few stalks of lemongrass (vài cây xả tươi)
  • 1 bottle of coconut water (1 chai nước dừa)
  • A few Thai chilli pepper or jalapenos, optional (vài quả ớt hiểm hoặc ở xanh loại cay)
  • A few kaffir lime leaves, optional (vài cái lá chanh, nếu có)
NgheuHap-1

Ingredients for steamed clams.

Instructions (Cách làm):

  1. Roughly chop 3 – 4 hot chilli peppers. Submerge the clams in a bowl of cold water, add the hot peppers, which will force the clams to release any sand left inside their shelves. Let them soak for about 5 – 10 minutes. I highly recommend wearing gloves when handling these hot peppers, just in case you forget and rub your hands on your eyes afterwards, a painful experience that I have, unfortunately, too much familiarity with.
    Băm nhỏ 3 – 4 quả ớt cay, cho nghêu vào thau to, đổ ngập nước lạnh và cho phần ớt mới băm vào. Ngâm nghêu trong vòng 5 – 10 phút để nhả hết cát. Nhớ dùng bao tay cho chắc ăn, kẻo mất công băm ớt xong dụi dụi vào mắt thì chỉ biết khóc nhé.
  2. Wash the lemongrass stalks, cut in half and lightly smash the stalks to release their flavor.
    Rửa và đập dập thân cây xả để khi hấp mùi xả đậm đà hơn.
  3. Wash the chilli peppers and cut in half. If you do not like the heat, just leave them out or substitute with dried pepper flakes.
    Rửa ớt, cắt làm đôi. Nếu không thích ăn cay, bạn có thể thay thế bằng ớt khô hoặc khỏi cho ớt vào hấp.
  4. Wash and rub the kaffir lime leaves to release the flavor.
    Rửa lá chanh, vò vò trong lòng bàn tay cho ra mùi.
  5. Put in clams, coconut water and all the spices in a pot. Add a pinch of salt, and steam on high heat until the clams open. DO NOT steam any longer because the clams will be tough.
    Cho nghêu, nước dừa cùng các nguyên liệu khác vào nồi. Thêm một tẹo muối rồi hấp cho đến khi nghêu há miệng là chín. Lưu ý không hấp quá lâu vì nghêu sẽ bị dai.
  6. Enjoy the clams along with the sweet coconut-infused clam juice.
    Xì xụp húp húp.

 

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