500 g lala clams (with shells)
2 tbsp dried prawns (soaked and drained)
5 g curry leaves
6 chili padi (bird’s eye chili)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cooking caramel (substitute with 1 tsp kecap manis)
Who would have thought that a dish normally left to the professional chefs could be so easy to replicate at home? Also known as Golden Fragrant Clams, this dish uses the Kam Heong stir-frying technique. This method of cooking utilizes ingredients from almost all Asian cuisines. By incorporating a variety of ingredients with various flavor profiles, it is no wonder this dish is drool worthy.
The Kam Heong stir-fry technique, or any stir-fries for that matter, is a popular method of cooking for several reasons. For one, it is a one-pot dish. Simply heat up some oil, toss all the ingredients into a single pot or pan and voila! You’ve just cooked yourself a quick and easy meal without any hassle. Commonly used in Asian cuisines, stir-frying is a safe cooking method for even beginner chefs. So get your wok or pans ready for an easy recipe that involves this ingenious method of cooking!
Fresh clams impart a natural sweetness that blends well with the spicy and savory Kam Heong Sauce. Made up of curry leaves, curry powder, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dried prawns, shallots, garlic and chili padi, the ingredients that make up the Kam Heong Sauce can be altered to suit your taste. It is in the simplicity and the versatility of the base sauce that allows other components to build on top of it without any clash of flavors or textures. Not only that, the main protein that is tossed in this delicious sauce can be substituted with other seafood and even poultry.
As its name suggests, Kam Heong Clams has clams as its main star. Clams can be intimidating to cook at first. How do ensure that the clams are cooked through? Cooking clams is a quick process that normally happens right before the dish is taken off the heat source. In this recipe, the clams are added in the last step. This is done to prevent the clams from overcooking and having a rubbery texture. When the clams start opening up, it is a good sign that they are cooked. Should some clams remain closed, toss them away! Clams that remain unopened will take away from the freshness of the dish.
First time attempting to cook up an aromatic dish with the traditional Kam Heong sauce? Fret not - read on for commonly asked questions and some tips that will guide you in recreating a clam stir fry, Kam Heong Style.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kam Heong Clams
1. What if I want the Kam Heong sauce to be thicker?
Some prefer a thicker sauce that will slither into the crevices of the clams. Simply add a cornflour and water mixture into the dish while stir-frying. Be sure to add the mixture slowly and mix well after every addition before adding more – You would want some gravy to soak your rice in when eating zi char style.
2. Can I cook the clams before tossing them in the sauce?
You sure can! Some prefer washing the clams in hot water to get rid of sediments that may be trapped in and around the clams. After washing the clams, drain them, blanch in boiling water, drain again, and set aside until ready to mix into the sauce.
3. Can I refrigerate and reheat the Kam Heong Clams for the next day?
Absolutely! Be it leftovers or fresh off the stove, store this family favorite dish in an airtight container for refrigeration. The sauce will probably thicken when left in the refrigerator overnight, so add a splash of water when you reheat it the next day.
Tips & Tricks to Serve Up a Fiery Plate of Kam Heong Clams
1. Prepare some of the components ahead of time: As a rule of thumb, drained prawns must be soaked in water before cooking. This will soften them up, allowing for its flavors to seep through the dish seamlessly when it is added to the hot pan.
2. Add a tiny squeeze of lemon or lime juice: Adding a tiny bit of citrus will elevate the dish to another level. The juice of the fruit will cut through the savory oyster sauce and bring a refreshing feel to your taste buds.
3. Experiment with other ingredients: As mentioned, other protein sources like prawns and chicken can be used instead of clams. Other ingredients can also be substituted into the sauce. Using preserved soybean paste instead of soy sauce will make the dish more aromatic and savory.
Recipe: How to Make Malaysian Wonton Noodles
| Reduce or add chili padi to adjust the level of spiciness to your preference.
| Use fresh clams for extra natural sweetness.
Transfer to serving plate and garnish with chili padi slices. Serve hot.