CHILLI GINGER WOK-FRIED CLAMS
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course. You will need: 1 kg (2 ¼ lbs) fresh clams in shells 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 50g (2oz) butter 1 red chilli, deseeded (if you wish) and chopped finely 2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, plus a small handful of whole coriander leaves to scatter over when serving Crusty white bread, to serve First, check that the clams are all closed, and discard any that stay open when tapped on a work surface. To clean the clams, scrub the shells, then place them in a bowl or a sink of cold water and let them soak for half an hour. This should help get rid of some of the sand, if there is any.
Put a saucepan or a frying pan that is large enough to hold all of the clams when they open, on a medium-to-high heat. Drain the clams, then add them to the saucepan and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes until the clams open — they’ll steam in the bit of water that’s clinging to the shells. Discard any clams that do not open. Set the clams in their shells aside.
Heat a wok or a large frying pan until it is very hot — it should be almost smoking. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, the butter, the finely chopped chilli, the finely grated fresh ginger, the finely sliced spring onions and the chopped fresh coriander, and cook quickly, for just half a minute to 1 minute, stirring all the time. Tip the steamed clams in their shells, and any remaining juices, into the pan or wok, and toss a couple of times, so that all the delicious sauce coats the clams.
Put in a large warm serving bowl and serve straight away with the crusty white bread to mop up the juices.