Back in the fishermen village of Pontian (well, it’s quite a bustling town now) and Kukup, seafood especially prawns and crabs are cooked in tomato sauce. Sometimes, a little bit of chilli is added to make it spicier. Lala clams are treated no different. Some might say that cooking seafood in tomato sauce masks the natural taste and sweetness of the fresh seafood, but some say that it’s an unforgettable experience sucking up the delicious tomato sauce from the seafood. Well, we can’t please everyone, can we?
I decided to cook my final batch of lala clams last Saturday in tomato sauce because, well, that’s about the most suitable ingredient I could lay my hands on in my kitchen. I didn’t have curry powder or leaves and that means cooking lala kam-heong style is out of the question. Besides, it has been a long time since I had seafood home-cooked style and this was one golden opportunity to whip up something quick and simple.
Before cooking lala clams, you will need to give it a good rinse. Rub or scrub the outer shells and place them in a deep bowl. Submerge them in tap water for 2 minutes before draining them. Do this a couple of times until you are fully satisfied that there are no more mud or grime in the lala clams. One trick is to drain the water completely and leave the lala clams in the bowl for 10 minutes. The lala clams will open up slightly until you can see the flesh. When you rinse it with water, they will spew or cough up the mud within them and clamp up. Repeat the process. That’s how I rinse and clean the fresh lala clams which I bought.
This is my recipe for Stir Fried Lala Clams Home-Cooked Style
- 400 grammes lala clams (rinse and drained)
- Generous amount of scallions / spring onions (cut into 2 inches length)
- 3 to 4 slices of ginger
- 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
- 200 ml hot water
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3 to 5 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- Sugar to taste
- a pinch of salt
Heat oil in wok until smoky. Add ginger and garlic and saute very quickly. As the ginger and garlic starts to give its aroma, add lala clams, water and seasoning.
Stir well before covering the wok. Allow to cook for 30 seconds. Open lid and stir again. Repeat process until the lala clams have opened up indicating that they are cooked.
Finally, add scallions and stir well before dishing up.
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