Clams in Lemongrass Broth

A lovely treat for any hot day during summer time. Clams are widely available in British Isles, but rockier coasts often supply a deeper taste and sweeter stock. Originally from Central Vietnam, this clam soup has a beautiful texture and balance as clams are β€œcold meat” – yin, chilli and lemongrass are hot herbs – yang. A refreshing taste, extracted from fresh clam stock and lemongrass oil, with added kick of green chilli make the whole dish just right in every sense.

Ingredients (for two):

  • 500gr fresh clams (wit shelves on), clean with cold water
  • 400ml fish stock or fresh cold water
  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, cleaned and bruised lightly
  • 1 or 2 piece (4cm) of fresh ginger, skinned and bruised
  • 1 hot green chilli
  • 20gr spring onion curls
  • Handful of anise basil (or Thai basil)

Method:

  • Bring stock to boil, then add lemongrass and ginger
  • Simmer for 3 minutes, then add clams and cook for 3 to 5 minutes
  • A pinch of salt and chilli in at the last minute to retain the crispiness of the chilli heat
  • Serve in big bowl (best in clay pot or china ware), add basil and spring onion
  • Season to taste with fish sauce, salt and “mi-chinh”