Clams with Black Beans

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as an appetizer .

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About


  • 5 pounds small clams in their shells
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold chicken broth, if necessary


  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallion tops


stir-frying, simmering

  1. Heat a wok and add the oil. When it is very hot, add the clams and stir-fry them for about 30 seconds.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Let them simmer about 5 minutes.

  3. As the clams open wide, remove them one by one to a serving platter with long chopsticks. As you remove them, tip them to drain all the juices into the wok.

  4. Any clams that fail to open should be discarded. They were dead before they were cooked. (If the beans and juice from the clams don’t thicken the sauce sufficiently, add the cornstarch dissolved in water.) Taste the sauce. During the long simmering, it can be reduced and become excessively salty. If it is too salty, thin it with water or more chicken broth. Pour the sauce over the clams and sprinkle the dish with chopped scallion.

  • Suggested Beverage: Dry Chenin Blanc or Muscadet