Recipe: Sake-Steamed Manilla Clams

Ima’s Mike Ransom’s clams can be an appetizer or a full meal
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“I chose this recipe for my love of clams and their versatility,” says Mike Ransom, chef/proprietor of the Corktown noodle shop, Ima. “The clams give a beautiful sweet and aromatic broth when steamed and can be an appetizer or full meal with the addition of some steamed rice or even over noodles.” 


Sake-Steamed Manilla Clam Appetizer (Serves 4)

Ingredients
6 ounces dry Junmai sake
6 ounces clam juice
2 tablespoons shiro miso (also called white miso and typically less salty than dark styles)
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
¼ cup sliced fresh garlic
1 pound manila or littleneck clams, washed
1 cup green onion bottoms (white & light green parts)
½ cup dried lily blossoms (purchase at Chinese grocery stores)
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 lemon, zested and halved
Japanese togarashi powder to taste (crushed red pepper flakes can be substituted here)
Kosher salt to taste
Steamed rice

Directions
Combine sake, clam juice, and miso and whisk until incorporated. Set aside. In a 4-quart sauce pan on medium heat, add canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic. Sweat until aromatic but not browning, about 2 minutes. Add green onion, lily blossoms, clams, sake stock, and butter, then cover with a lid. Steam for approximately 5-7 minutes or until clams are all opened. Discard those clams that didn’t open. Remove from heat and squeeze one half of lemon and add the zest. Season with kosher salt and togarashi powder to taste. Serve in a large bowl with a side of steamed rice to sop up the tasty broth.

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