Asian Coconut Broth Clams made with lemongrass, ginger and cilantro is wonderful when paired with bread for dipping all that delicious broth!
Coconut Broth Clams
The flavors in this Thai-inspired clam dish are delicious, with lemongrass, cilantro and coconut milk. It’s not very complicated to make, once the clams are cleaned the whole dish comes together in about 20 minutes.
I modified this recipe from The Goodful Cookbook (affil link) which is filled 125 recipes that make everyday meals a nourishing, mindful experience. My family loves seafood for the holidays and clams are so quick and easy to make. The original recipe called for a full can of coconut milk, a bit ore wine and grilling sourdough bread. To lighten it up I cut the canned coconut milk in half, reduced the wine and made the bread optional, although I recommend having some to sop up all that broth. This would also be great served over jasmine rice to make it a meal and to keep it gluten-free.
The author of the book says: We know that clams can be a polarizing ingredient and intimidating to make at home. Don’t fear! These are delicious and we’ll walk you through it step by step. Clams are one of the most potent food sources of zinc, and they’re also high in iron. The lemongrass, often used in Southeast Asian recipes, is heavenly with the coconut milk, and you can even save the stems to make a tea.
You can buy fresh lemongrass on Amazon (affil link) if you don’t see it in your store.
More Seafood Recipes You Will Love
- Garlic Shrimp
- Mussels Fra Diavolo
- Clam Chowder
- Portuguese Seafood Stew
- Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Coconut Broth Clams with Lemongrass
For the clams:
- 24 little neck clams or Manila clams, scrubbed
- Cold water, for soaking
- Sea salt
For the coconut broth:
- 1/2 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large lemongrass stalks
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, about 2 inches
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or 2 Thai chili peppers, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 14-ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, shaken thoroughly before opening
- thinly sliced scallions
- fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- Sourdough Bread, optional for serving
- Pick through the clams and discard any that are open and do not close when firmly tapped—these clams are dead and should not be eaten. Add the rest to a colander.
- Rinse and scrub the clams to remove any sand or barnacles from the shells.
- Fill a bowl large enough to fit the colander with cold water and 3 to 4 tablespoons salt for every 6 cups water. Stir until most of the salt has dissolved.
- Place the colander in the bowl of salt water and soak the clams for at least 1 hour and up to overnight, so they release any grit and sand. (Live clams will filter the water and push out any impurities in the process; the grit falls to the bottom of the bowl and the colander allows you to lift out the clams without disturbing the grit.)
- Transfer the clams in the colander to another large bowl of fresh water and let soak for 15 to 30 minutes to remove excess salt.
- In a wok or large pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Firmly whack the lemongrass stalks with a wooden spoon to bruise them, which helps release their aroma and flavor during cooking. Trim the ends, then slice the stalks into 4-inch pieces.
- Add the lemongrass to the wok, then add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Carefully pour in the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, stock, and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Add the clams, return to a boil, and cook until the clams are fully opened, 5 to 8 minutes. If any clams remain closed, discard them. Discard the lemongrass.
- Divide the clams and broth among individual serving bowls. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve with bread for dipping in the broth.