Kerang Bumbu Arsik

North Sumatra Clam with Arsik Sauce


The sweet aromatic scents of torch ginger flowers, sour from Asam Cekala or torch ginger fruit, combined with the tingling sensation from Andaliman pepper, create a dish with an exotic taste and aroma. The traditional arsik used carp fish. But the sauce can match any other kinds of protein very well.


  • 500 gr white clams
  • 5 stalks spring onion
  • 2 pcs torch ginger flower
  • 15 pcs torch ginger fruit (or 60 ml lime juice)
  • 4 pcs kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 pc turmeric leaves (optional)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 5 gr salt (about a teaspoon)

Ground Arsik Spices

  • 60 gr shallots (about 12 cloves)
  • 40 gr garlic (about 8 cloves)
  • 30 gr ginger
  • 20 gr candlenuts
  • 5 gr fresh turmeric (or 1 gram of turmeric powder)
  • 100 gr red chilli
  • 30 gr galangal
  • 2 gr coriander
  • 10 gr Andaliman or Szechuan pepper



  1. Wash clams until clean. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
  2. Sauté ground spices. Add torch ginger flower, torch ginger fruits or lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaves, lemongrass, and salt. Cook until fragrant, stir occasionally. Add water and bring to boil over low heat.
  3. Add clams, cooked until the shells are open. Season with salt; then serve.