Sea Foam

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    8

    Servings of Dinner-Party Drama

Appears in

Approximate Cost: $10 (plus garnishes)

This recipe is at the theatrical end of the foam spectrum. It’s a great way to showcase the flavorful liquor that accompanies clams, but it would probably feel a bit ridiculous for a quiet dinner at home. Once discharged, the foam will dissipate dramatically into a satisfyingly clean, briny soup. Many chefs—José Andrés and David Chang come to mind—have employed this effect at their restaurants, but you can re-create it at home pretty easily. Hold a conch shell up to your guest’s ear. Smile broadly and welcome them to Fantasy Island.

Ingredients

You will Need

  • 2 pounds fresh clams, cleaned and purged thoroughly
  • 1 cup dashi or water
  • 3.5 sheets of gelatin or 6.5 grams gelatin powder
  • co2 charger
  • garnish of your choice

Method

  1. Blanch the clams in boiling water for 15 seconds to facilitate shucking.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  2. “unlock” the clams by inserting a butter knife and slicing the connective muscles.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  3. Shuck the clams over an ice bath to catch and reserve their liquor.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  4. Strain the clam liquor, and supplement it with dashi or water to make 1 pint of soup.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  5. “bloom” the gelatin sheets in cold water for a few minutes to soften them. Drain.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  6. Warm your clam soup on the stove and add the gelatin sheets or powder.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  7. Cool the soup until it sets.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  8. Load the canister of the co2 charger with the gelatinized soup.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  9. Charge it twice, shaking vigorously after each charge and before each discharge.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  10. Place the chilled clams in a bowl. Garnish with edamame, crispy seaweed, sautéed ramps, cooked bacon, or anything resembling a coral reef. Top with sea foam.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

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