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Razor clams in coconut Recipe

Written on Saturday, July 30, 2016 | 10:34:00 AM

Serves3 – 4 AS A STARTER

Ingredients : 
- CORIANDER SEEDS 1 heaped teaspoon

- CUMIN SEEDS ½ teaspoon

- FRESH ROOT GINGER 7.5cm (3in) piece, peeled and finely chopped

- GARLIC 3–4 cloves, finely chopped

- COCONUT OR OTHER OIL 2 tablespoons

- BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS 1 heaped teaspoon

- FRESH GREEN CHILLIES 1–2 finger-type, chopped

- DRIED RED CHILLI 1, deseeded and sliced

- CURRY LEAVES 15–20, preferably fresh, finely shredded; if using dried, soak in water for 10–12 minutes, and dry thoroughly before shredding

- ONION 1, chopped

- KOKUM (BUTTERNUT) BERRY 1, shredded, or ½ dried sour plum or raw mango (optional)

- GROUND TURMERIC ½ teaspoon

- RED CHILLI POWDER ½ teaspoon

- FRESHLY GRATED COCONUT from ½ a large coconut, or 200g (7oz) frozen coconut, defrosted, or 100g (3½oz) desiccated coconut, soaked in enough warm water to just cover for 30 minutes

- LIME JUICE from ½ lime

- TOMATO 1 plum-type, diced

- RAZOR CLAMS 500g (1lb 2oz), preferably fresh, cleaned and opened (see Note)

- FRESH CORIANDER a few leaves, torn or coarsely chopped


Preparation Method :
- Set out all the ingredients, along with the sterilized half-shells (see Note below).

- Place a frying pan over a medium heat, add the coriander and cumin seeds and toast until aromatic. Allow to cool slightly, then crush well in a mortar. Add the ginger and garlic and crush together.

- Heat the oil in a wok, kadhai or large saucepan until a couple of mustard seeds sizzle straight away when dropped in the pan. Add the remaining mustard seeds and cover loosely with a lid while they pop and splutter.

- Stir in the toasted seed mixture, adding a little water if it sticks to the pan. Add the green and red chillies and the curry leaves, and sauté for 30–60 seconds, then add the onion and kokum or sour plum or raw mango, if using. When the onion turns pale, add the turmeric and red chilli powder plus a little water and cook for 1–2 minutes. Drain the coconut, if necessary, and add it to the pan, heating and stirring to prevent burning, until it releases its aroma. Taste, then add the lime juice a bit at a time until you are happy with the flavour.

- Stir in the tomato, add the clams and increase the heat to maximum. Toss briefly, then cook without stirring or shaking for 30 seconds. Repeat this step 3 more times so that the clams cook for just 2 minutes in total. Season to taste with salt.

- Sprinkle in the fresh coriander and serve the clams straight away on the half-shells.

Razor clams are straightforward to prepare, but allow at least 30 minutes for this if you’ve never done it before.

1. Rinse your clams under cold running water to remove all the sand. Transfer them to the freezer for 30–40 minutes so that they are unconscious for the next step.

2. Place the clams in a colander in the sink and pour boiling water over them (don’t let them soak or the meat will become rubbery and cook). The shells will pop open in about 5 seconds, at which point immerse them in cold water.

3. Using a small sharp knife, prise the shells fully open and remove the meat by running the tip of the knife along the inside and cutting through the muscle. Set the meat aside.

4. Retain one half of each shell, rinse well, then pour boiling water over them to sterilize.

5. Using kitchen scissors and squeezing the clam, cut open the body from top to tail and snip out all the dark parts.

6. Rinse the meat gently in cold water and it’s ready to cook.


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