During the summer, we like to feast on fresh seafood especially when there is an abundant supply at my local grocery. I cooked this easy Clams with Chinese Noodles in Snow Peas for dinner because I had the three basic ingredients on hand. Many folks have asked me about different types of clams. I am not an expert but from years of home cooking and learning from my mother, I’ve noticed the different types of clams available to us here on the east coast. They are slightly similar to the tulya we find in the Philippines and cook often in Filipino recipes.
I used littleneck clams for this recipe. I learned from the fish monger they are easy to find here on the east coast. This type of clams are about 2-inches wide. They have a greyish-brown shell. Sometimes, I chance upon Manila clams in the supermarket. These are larger and measure about 3 to 4 inches wide. The shells are similar in appearance to the littleneck clams. Manila clams were not originally native to North America. Seafood sources cite Manila clams were introduced to the Washington state from Japan years ago. Today, they are mostly found in northern California and British Columbia. Both types of clams taste sweet and are very juicy when fresh and steamed properly. I cooked the littleneck clams I had from the market in pre-boiled Chinese noodles which can be bought at the Asian grocery’s freezer section. These wheat noodles are thick, opaque, slightly yellowish and I often use in soups and other stir-fry dishes. The noodles add a hearty dimension to the whole dish.
On this warm summer day in my kitchen, I did not feel like standing by the stove for hours. After washing the grime off the clams in running water, I heated up my large, dependable wok. To the hot oil, I tossed in the garlic, onions, ginger and scallions and watched them sizzle and sear. The fragrance of these aromatics was hard to resist, and I couldn’t wait to add the pound and a half of clams. I stirred everything together and the heavy clinking of the clams in the wok was like a happy tune to signal dinner would soon be ready. The fresh, pre-boiled thick noodles were the final touch to the gorgeous dish. I quickly sprinkled calamansi juice, the Filipino lime all over just before serving. Dinner was ready, and I had done everything in under an hour. This is the way summer meals should be prepared. Short and sublime.
Clams with Chinese Noodles and Snow Peas
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh Littleneck Clams washed
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
- 1 knob fresh ginger one-inch piece, peeled, sliced in thin sticks
- 2 stalks scallions chopped, divided, use white parts for stir fry, green for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 Tablespoons thick soy sauce
- 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
- 1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas edges trimmed snow peas or sugar snap peas
- 8 ounces Chinese fresh noodles pre-cooked; from Asian markets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons calamansi or lemon juice to sprinkle on noodles when serving
- Place clams in a large colander. Wash in running water to remove grime and sand. Set aside.
- In a large wok or skillet, add the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, stir fry the garlic, onions, ginger and scallions. Stir till fragrant and the onions are translucent in 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the rice wine, soy sauce and broth. Blend well.
- Add the snow peas and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the fresh clams and mix with the ingredients in the wok or skillet. Cover and steam the clams till they open in about 8 to 10 minutes. *Note: Discard clams that do not open.
- Push the clams and snap peas to the side of the skillet. Add the fresh noodles to the center of the skillet or wok. Mix everything till the liquid coats the noodles, clams and snow peas.
- Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green parts of scallions.
- Sprinkle with calamansi or lemon juice all over just before serving. Serve warm.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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