My recipe for Clams in Black Bean Sauce is a great recipe to serve for Lunar New Year. Clams symbolize prosperity as they are round and shaped like coins. Plus, they taste delicious with all of their savoury flavours!
Read on down below to see how to make this delicious Chinese recipe just in time for Lunar New Year! Also, check out my YouTube video on how to make this recipe from scratch!
Fermented Black Beans- Two Ways!
Fermented black beans add tons of flavour and umami to this recipe. I use both dried fermented black beans as well as black bean and garlic sauce. The former adds a great funky and savoury taste to this dish, plus they look great dotted around the clams and vegetables!
I also use some black bean and garlic sauce. This is a mix of fermented black beans that have been mashed up and mixed with garlic, soy sauce, sugar and rice wine. This sauce really gets into all the clams and makes a delicious and savoury sauce to eat with the clams (and scoop over rice!).
The Symbolism Behind Clams
Clams are an excellent to serve on Lunar New Year since they are round and shaped like coins, therefore representing prosperity. The more clams you eat, the more prosperous and wealthy you will be in the new year…so make sure to make a big batch!
A Quick Recipe made in 15 Minutes
This recipe comes together super quick and is easy once you have all of the ingredients chopped up and ready to go. I cook the clams over high heat to impart wok hei, an unmistakable flavour and essence from searing food at high temperatures.
First, I add the shallots to the wok and fry for 30 seconds. After that, the garlic and ginger goes in along with the dried red chili peppers. At this point, the smell will be amazing! After another 30 seconds, the fermented black beans and Anaheim peppers go in, followed by the clams, the black bean sauce mixture and the Shaoxing wine.
Cover and steam for 5 minutes until all the clams have opened and then add in a bit of cornstarch to help thicken the delicious sauce in the bottom of the wok. Once thickened, serve the clams and spoon the sauce over some rice! You are absolutely going to love this recipe!
Get the Recipe!
Clams in Black Bean Sauce
For the Black Bean Sauce:
- 1/4 cup black bean and garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce low sodium
For the Clams:
- 2.5 pounds Manila clams fresh/live
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1/4 cup shallots thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
- 10 dried red chilis
- 1 cup anaheim chili pepper thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fermented black beans rinsed
- 1/2 cup Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
- Combine all of the Black Bean Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Rinse the clams well and scrub them clean so that there is no debris on the outer shell. Inspect each clam to ensure that they are all tightly closed. If there are any clams that are open, discard them as they will make you sick.
- Heat the wok (or large pot) over high heat. Once hot, add the avocado oil, followed by the scallions. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for another 30 seconds, then add the dried red chilis, fermented black beans and Anaheim chili peppers. Saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the clams to the wok, followed by the black bean sauce and Shaoxing cooking wine. Toss to combine, then cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes, or until all the clams are open.
- Inspect the clams to ensure that they have all opened. If you find one that has not opened even after cooking, discard it.
- Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and then pour it into the clams to thicken the sauce. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat, top with the cilantro leaves and serve immediately.