lala lemongrass

Another lala recipe? Forgive me but I am quite a fan of lala clams and since the lala clams were looking really fresh in the wet market, I couldn’t resist getting my hands on 1 kg of these sweet tasting clams. Initially, I had wanted to whip up a kamheong lala dish but later realised that I’d forgotten to get two of the essential kamheong lala ingredients : curry powder and curry leaves. Without those two ingredients, kamheong lala just won’t be kamheong lala. I’ll kamheong another day then.

Thankfully, as I rummaged through my kitchen, I found some lemongrass and ginger as well as freshly grown bird’s eye chillis. Mum recently moved to my old apartment and I am now babysitting two of her prized bird’s eye chilli plants. In case you are still wondering what is bird’s eye chilli, it is also known as cili padi – probably the hottest local chilli available in this region.

This recipe uses simple but aromatic ingredients which help to lend the dish a sweet and fragrant taste whilst masking any potential “fishy” smell – which is unlikely unless your lala clams are not fresh. Read this post to find out how to prepare lala clams before cooking. Now, though this recipe looks like a stirfry dish, with a little bit of imagination, you can turn this into a sweat inducing and appetising soup. Just add more of the ingredients and water 😉

This is my recipe for Stir Fried Lala with LemonGrass and Bird’s Eye Chilli


  • 1 kg lala clams (rinsed and washed thoroughly to remove mud, sand and grime)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (hammered with the flat side of a knife to bruise it)
  • 5 cm of ginger (slivered)
  • 3 shallots (chopped finely)
  • 4 to 10 bird’s eye chilli / cili padi (cut lengthwise, remove seeds to reduce hotness)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil


  • Salt to taste


Heat oil in wok. Add shallots, ginger, lemongrass and bird’s eye chilli. Stir briskly until shallots just starts to brown.

Add lala clams and stir well. Add 1/2 to 1 cup water and close the lid of the wok allowing water to reboil. Stir occasionally until lala clams open up.

Add salt to taste and dish up. Do not overcook the lala clams or they will turn rubbery.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

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  1. 1
    Rasa Malaysia
    July 2nd, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I love this type of clams the most, but they are also the muddiest. Next time, you can blanch with water first so they are half open, so it gets the mud out. 🙂

  2. 2
    July 2nd, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    looks very yums!

  3. 3
    July 2nd, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    hmm i can imagine how fragrant they are!

    😉 Bee, my mom does the same too

  4. 4
    July 2nd, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Hmmm….Haven’t eaten for a long time. It reminds me of the siong tong lala in KL. Looking forward to your kamheong recipe!

  5. 5
    July 2nd, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    lala fan here, so I can never get sick of lala recipes, can’t wait for your kamheong version hehe. This looks great with lemongrass and my fave chilli padi… yums!

  6. 6
    July 3rd, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Wow.. something new for me to try on cos i’m quite clumsy with seafood.. my 3 poor guinea pigs~ lolx..

  7. 7
    July 3rd, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Btw, Lala and tua tao are different right? -.=

  8. 8
    July 3rd, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Rasa Malaysia : I did consider giving them a quick hot bath but that would take away some of the sweet tasting juice from the clams. So, it’s cold plunge a couple of times then.

    KY : In other words, Hochiak!!

    babe_kl : Are you a lala fan?

    food-4tots : I am also looking forward to my kamheong adventure! LOL!

    noobcook : I suspect this style of cooking does not take away too much of the natural taste of lala compared to kamheong. The latter’s curry leaves and powder might just be a tad overpowering for the subtle sweetness of the lalas but I guess, for lala fans, any way of cooking would do 😀

    Applelyn : Yes, they are very different. This is long and flattish in shape whilst the tua tao clam is bigger and looks like a cockle in shape albeit without the rough grooves.

  9. 9
    July 8th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Looks like someone needs to be introduced to clam juice. Must put that on my list of things to get you when I am back in KL. BTW, no more lala recipe please. Can’t stop drooling! I can’t find lala here. Am very jealous

  10. 10
    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Lala dishes are great for appetite ; only conscious about Hepatitis A………but then now a day what foods that are safe 100% to eat?

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