This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to cook clams, and one of the most delectable. Clams have an assertive seafood flavour that the distinctness of the fresh basil matches in a most congenial and appetizing way.
If clams are unavailable, you may substitute mussels with no loss of delectability.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is slightly smoking, add the garlic, shallots, chillies and clams and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until the shells open. Add the fish sauce and basil and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Turn onto a warm serving platter and serve at once.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.