Sake steamed clams is a common dish found in many Japanese Izakaya restaurants. It requires a few ingredients, and the total cooking time is only around 5 minutes. Sake steamed clams is unbelievably easy to make, it’s packed with umami and utterly delicious.
Ingredients (serves 1-2):
- 250g Manila clams
- 50ml sake or rice wine
- 1-2 scallion
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 5-10g butter
- soy sauce to taste
- 1 bird eye chili optional
- Soak clams in cold water for 20-60 minutes, to make clams expel sand from inside. If you add drops of oil to water, the clams will spit more quickly. Rinse clams, scrub clean if necessary. Discard broken or ones that don’t close.
- In a small, deep skillet, heat 1-2 tsp oil, sauté minced garlic, scallion (white parts only), and chili, till aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Add clams, pour in sake, cover and cook over medium-high heat, until clams open, about 3-4 minutes. Discard any clams that don’t open.
- Stir in butter, tossing to mix with clams and sauce until it melts. Add soy sauce to taste, remove from heat and serve.
Fresh clams are subtly sweet. Cooking with little time will ensure the tender, succulent taste of the shellfish. Using only a few seasoning ingredients, on the other hand, will maximize the natural umami and sweetness of clams. So simple, so good.