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Coconut Broth Clams with Lemongrass

Coconut Broth Clams with Lemongrass

Asian Coconut Broth Clams made with lemongrass, ginger and cilantro is wonderful when paired with bread for dipping all that delicious broth!

Ingredients For the clams:

  • ▢24 little neck clams or Manila clams, scrubbed

  • ▢Cold water, for soaking

  • ▢Sea salt

For the coconut broth:

  • ▢1/2 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

  • ▢½ medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • ▢2 large lemongrass stalks

  • ▢3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, about 2 inches

  • ▢4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • ▢1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or 2 Thai chili peppers, minced

  • ▢1/2 cup dry white wine

  • ▢1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • ▢1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce

  • ▢2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • ▢1/2 14-ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, shaken thoroughly before opening

  • ▢thinly sliced scallions

  • ▢fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

  • ▢Sourdough Bread, optional for serving


  • Pick through the clams and discard any that are open and do not close when firmly tapped—these clams are dead and should not be eaten. Add the rest to a colander.

  • Rinse and scrub the clams to remove any sand or barnacles from the shells.

  • Fill a bowl large enough to fit the colander with cold water and 3 to 4 tablespoons salt for every 6 cups water. Stir until most of the salt has dissolved.

  • Place the colander in the bowl of salt water and soak the clams for at least 1 hour and up to overnight, so they release any grit and sand. (Live clams will filter the water and push out any impurities in the process; the grit falls to the bottom of the bowl and the colander allows you to lift out the clams without disturbing the grit.)

  • Transfer the clams in the colander to another large bowl of fresh water and let soak for 15 to 30 minutes to remove excess salt.

  • In a wok or large pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Firmly whack the lemongrass stalks with a wooden spoon to bruise them, which helps release their aroma and flavor during cooking. Trim the ends, then slice the stalks into 4-inch pieces.

  • Add the lemongrass to the wok, then add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  • Carefully pour in the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, stock, and coconut milk and bring to a boil.

  • Add the clams, return to a boil, and cook until the clams are fully opened, 5 to 8 minutes. If any clams remain closed, discard them. Discard the lemongrass.

  • Divide the clams and broth among individual serving bowls. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve with bread for dipping in the broth.

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