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Clams in Black Bean Sauce

Clams in Black Bean Sauce

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Clams in Black Bean Sauce

The pungent saltiness of fermented black beans adds depth of flavor and color to this crowd-pleaser. Perfect with just steamed rice and sautéed vegetables, or double the sauce and serve on top of fresh egg noodles to serve as a satisfying entrée.


For the black bean sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed well
  • 1/2 Teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 Teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 Cup water

For the clams

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon scallions, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red Fresno chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine
  • 3 Pounds Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro


Calories Per Serving405

Folate equivalent (total)30µg8%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg11.4%

Easy Chinese clams with black bean sauce

This Cantonese classic is easy to make, and takes 30 minutes or less to prepare. This amount of clams will serve two or three generously, but if you're feeding four to six, add another easy dish of steamed egg custard.

Briefly rinse the black beans with water, then drain them and put them in a bowl with 30ml (2tbsp) of hot water. Soak for about 15 minutes, then mash them with a fork and mix in the rice wine.

Rinse the clams under cold running water then drain them in a colander.

Cut the garlic cloves in half and thinly slice them. Slice the bird’s-eye chillies (or other small hot chillies) in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and finely chop the flesh. Cut the banana chillies (or other long mild chillies) into thin rounds. Mince the spring onions. Dissolve the cornstarch in 15ml (1tbsp) of cool water.

Place a wok over a high flame, pour in the cooking oil and, when it’s hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the bird’s-eye chillies and stir, then mix in the black beans and the soaking liquid. Cook until sizzling, then add the clams, the banana chillies and about 60ml (¼cup) of hot water. Stir well, then cover the wok with the lid and turn the heat to medium. Cook for several minutes, or until the clams are cooked, stirring occasionally. If needed, stir in a little more water (the clams will give off a lot of liquid). The clams are ready when the shells open.

Push the clams to the sides of the wok to create a well in the centre. Stir the cornstarch/water mixture, then drizzle it into the liquid in the well. Stir everything together and simmer for about 30 seconds, or until the liquid thickens slightly. Taste for seasonings and adjust, if necessary.

Transfer the ingredients to a serving dish, sprinkle with spring onion and garnish with fresh cori­ander sprigs.

Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (豉椒炒蜆)

Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (Printable recipe)
By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 10 mins (plus soaking clam time)
Cook time: 10 mins
Yield: 2 to 3 serves

  • 1 kg clams
  • 2 tsp minced shallots
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fermented black soybeans (aka douchi 豆豉)
  • 1 Tbsp shredded ginger
  • 3 to 4 spring onion, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp white rice cooking wine
  • 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • 120 ml water
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp chilli oil, optional
  • 1 tsp corn flour / corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp water

  1. Soak the clams in salted water for 2 to 3 hours and let them release sands inside. Rinse thoroughly. Briefly blanch in boiling water until they are slightly open. Immediately drain them in a colander. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the fermented black soybeans and drain well. Use a large spoon to press them into a paste. You might like to reserve some in whole shape to enhance the presentation.
  3. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, fermented black soybeans, ginger and half of the spring onion, until aromatic.
  4. Toss the clams into the wok. Increase heat to high and stir fry until aromatic. Sprinkle wine around the edge of wok. Add the sauce, red chilli. Quickly stir to combine. Cook for a few seconds. Add the rest of spring onion. Stir in the thickening and cook to preferred consistency. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

  • Don’t ever cook the clams too long while blanching, as they have to be stir fried later on and you don’t want the meat turn rubbery.
  • Discard any unopened clams because they are dead already.
  • If you like a stronger kick of chilli, you might like to sauté the red chilli with fermented black soybeans. Or add more chilli oil if you like.
  • If you have smaller kids, you might skip the red chilli.

***If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #christinesrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Clams and scallops in a black bean sauce

For the jasmine rice, place the rice in a large saucepan and cover with 600ml/20fl oz water and the stock. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is fluffy. Keep the lid on until ready to serve.

For the clams and scallops, heat the oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and black beans and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the scallops and cook, gently tossing, for 10 seconds. Discard any clams with broken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped. Add the clams to the wok and cook, gently tossing, until the clams have opened. Season with the Shaoxing rice wine and discard any clams that remain closed. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add the soy sauces and stir in the blended cornflour to thicken the sauce.

For the Chinese vegetables, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the Chinese leaf and greens. Remove from the pan and plunge into iced water then drain and set aside.

To make the kale garnish, heat some oil in a deep saucepan until it reaches 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Add the kale and fry until crispy. Remove carefully using a slotted spoon and transfer to kitchen towels to drain. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and sesame seeds.

To serve, place the rice on a large serving dish. Top with the Chinese vegetables and the clams and scallops. Sprinkle over the ground shrimp, edible flowers, garlic chives, spring onions and crispy kale. Serve immediately.

Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce

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This easy recipe has littleneck clams that are stir-fried in a mixture of clam juice, Chinese bean sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. As the clams steam open, they release their juices to help make a savory sauce to be spooned over steamed white rice.

What to buy: Chinese bean sauce, also known as ground bean sauce, brown bean sauce, or yellow bean sauce, is made from soybeans, salt, flour, sugar, sesame oil, and spices. It can be find in Asian grocery stores we like the Koon Chun brand.


  • 3 pounds littleneck, cherrystone, count neck or manila clams
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 5 tablespoons Chinese salted black beans (not the seasoned variety)
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (this is the best soy sauce around)
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine (or sake)
  • 8 dried red chiles
  • 1/2 cup minced scallion


In a mixing bowl, combine the black beans, garlic, soy, sugar, hoisin, oyster sauce and rice wine (or sake if that’s what you are using).

Place a large cast iron wok over high heat. Let the pan preheat for 5 minutes, and then add the peanut oil. Swirl.

Add the scallions and chilies. Swirl and add the clams.

Give the seasonings a stir and add to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover.

Cook for 7-8 minutes tossing the pot occasionally, until the clams open.

Remove from heat. Spoon clams out into a bowl, simmer the remaining sauce for a minute or two to tighten the sauce. Pour the sauce over the clams. Serve immediately.

Chinese Recipe : Stir-Fried Razor Clams with Black Bean Sauce

2. Cook Razor Clams (with and without shell) in boiling water for about 1 minute. Dish it up for next step.

3. Rinse the bell pepper and cut them into strips.

4. Heat the wok with oil (1 tbsp), saute pounded Ginger and Onion. Then add Bell Pepper. Saute the ingredients for a while. Dish it up for next step.

5. Mix and squash Garlic (1 pcs), Fermented Black Beans (1 tbsp) and Bird’s eye chili (1 pcs)

6. Add and mix Sugar (2 tsp), Water (4 tbsp) , Light Soy Sauce (1 tsp)

7. Saute the shredded Ginger, add and saute Razor Clams for a while. Dish it up for next step.

8. Saute the Seasoning, add the Bell Pepper, then add the Razor Clams. Stir-fry all ingredients for a while.

Stir-Fried Clams in Black Bean Sauce Recipe (Oc Xao Gung Dau Den)

3 lbs live Manila, Cherrystone, or Littleneck clams

3 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons fermented black bean garlic sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine

Corn starch slurry (2 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca starch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons grated or finely minced ginger

1 scallion (thinly slice the green part only)

Clams in Black Bean Sauce – A Recipe to Celebrate Chinese New Year, 2013… Year of the Snake

Article written by leading Asian culinary expert, cookbook author, cooking instructor, and developer of Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® cookware and cooking supplies, Helen Chen. For full Bio, please see below…

Clams in black bean sauce

February 10, 2013 ushers in the new Year of the Snake. The exact date of Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, as it is commonly known in China, is determined by the phases of the moon. The Chinese lunar calendar is one of the oldest chronological records in history.

Chinese New Year is a time for grand celebrations and in China almost one billion people are on the move. It’s the one time in the year that everyone tries to journey to their respective hometowns for family reunions and banquets. I always suggest to tourists not to even think about visiting China during the New Year festivities. You won’t be able to buy a train, plane or boat ticket. It will be that busy and chaotic.

In the days preceding New Year the house must be cleaned, all debts settled and the house decorated with good luck symbols and signs. It’s considered unlucky to sweep or cut your hair during Chinese New Year because you’d sweep away good fortune and since the Chinese word for “hair” is a homonym for prosperity, the last thing you want to do is to cut your wealth in half.

Good luck couplets are written on scrolls of red paper and hung on either side of the front door. Flowers also play an important part in the New Year celebration. It’s traditional to have a bowl of fragrant narcissi that have been forced to bloom just in time for Chinese New Year. Paper whites or narcissi are symbolic of good fortune and prosperity. I have my narcissi in bloom right now!

With any Chinese festival, especially one as old and significant as the Chinese New Year, food always plays a large part in the celebration. For the Chinese, they are either eating or talking about food!

Lucky foods are prepared and served throughout Chinese New Year especially on New Year’s Eve when the whole family congregates for their new year banquet. Sticky rice to symbolize the “sticking together” of family and friends whole fish to symbolize abundance deep-fried spring rolls that resemble golden bars of gold stir-fried clams in their shells look like silver ingots of old China long noodles for long life juicy Mandarin oranges to signify good luck red apples not only for their lucky red color, but also because the word for apple, “ping guo” sounds like the word “ping” for peace peaches for longevity and peanuts, known as the long life nut. The list goes on and on.

Let me be the first to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

A Chinese New Year Recipe- Clams in Black Bean Sauce

Serves 2, or 4 as part of a multicourse meal
12 littleneck or cherrystone clams (about 2 pounds)
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
2 slices unpeeled gingerroot
1 scallion, green and white parts, cut into 1-inch lengths, bulb split
3 tablespoons fermented black beans, coarsely chopped
1 fresh Thai chili, thinly sliced, optional
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Cilantro springs, for garnish

1. Cover the clams with fresh cold water and soak for about 30 minutes. Scrub the
shells with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly to remove all sand and grit. (Here’s an in-depth clam cleaning guide for more tips and pictures)
Remember the shells and all will cook in the sauce and you don’t want it to
become gritty. Drain. Set aside. If not cooking right away, place in the

2. Combine the garlic, gingerroot, scallion, black beans and chili, if using in a small dish. Set aside. Combine the soy sauce, sherry sugar and ½ cup water in another dish. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Pour the oil into a wok or stir fry pan (you might try Helen’s 14″ Carbon Steel Flat-Bottom Wok if you haven’t settled on a wok yet) and place over high heat. Add the black bean mixture to the pan and stir until fragrant. Add the clams and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture, stir to mix, and cover the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the clams just open. Stir occasionally for even cooking.

4. Remove the lid and thicken the sauce with the cornstarch slurry. When the sauce has thickened, transfer the clams to a serving platter and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Copyright © 2005 and 1994 by Helen Chen. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Helen Chen’s Chinese Home Cooking, New York, William Morrow & Co., 1994.

Biography of the Author, Helen Chen

Helen Chen is a widely acknowledged expert in Chinese cooking. Besides her role as an educator and cookbook author, she also is a product and business consultant to the housewares industry. In 2007 she created and developed a new line of Asian kitchenware under the brand name, “Helen’s Asian Kitchen,” expressly for Harold Import Company in New Jersey.

Having been born in China, and raised and educated in the United States, Helen brings the best of both worlds to her approach to the art of Chinese cuisine. She understands the needs of the American cook as only a native can, yet she is intimately knowledgeable with the culinary practices and philosophy of China.

Watch the video: #5. Χάντρες Λαδερές, με το Σμυρνέϊκο μυστικό της απλότητας (August 2022).