Wok-roasted Clams with Chilli


With such bounteous seafood on their doorstep, as it were, Thais have learned to make the most of every gift from the sea available to them. Everything from giant Tiger prawns to fresh clams has made it into the Thai cuisine.

In this recipe, quite ordinary clams are made into something special by being ‘wok-roasted’ with garlic, chilli, and other Thai favourites, resulting in a savoury, satisfying dish. The wok technique used here also contributes to the final delicious effect.

You may substitute mussels for the clams if you wish.


  • tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh shallots
  • 3 small fresh red or green Thai chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 kg (2 lb) fresh live clams, well scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) homemade chicken stock or store-bought fresh stock
  • handful fresh basil leaves


Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic, shallots, chillies and clams and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until the shells begin to open. Then add the sugar, soy sauce, Thai red curry paste and chicken stock and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Toss in the basil leaves and give a good stir.

Turn onto a warm serving platter and serve at once.