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.
24 comments on “Coconut Broth Clams with Lemongrass”
yeah this dish is up there with 1 of the best dishes i’ve made… my wife was highly impressed
This was pretty good! But I added a bit more coconut milk and I ate 8 clams to myself rather than 6. Depending on their size 6 can be kind of a small serving.
Oh my gosh! This was outstanding! I was a little more liberal with the fish sauce and used a full can of LITE coconut milk. Perfection.
A few warnings for those of you (me) who like to live on the edge and quickly skim recipes before diving in: YOU NEED TO SOAK THE CLAMS- THIS TAKES AN HOUR DON’T FORGET TO BUILD THIS INTO YOUR PREP TIME! Also don’t forget to make the rice, if using, because if you’re me you don’t keep instant on hand and remembering 5 minutes before the clams were done wasn’t helpful. Thankfully this was beautiful with just a fresh loaf of bread.
I’ve sent this recipe to 5 friends since making it last night. Delicious. Can’t wait to try with shrimp, chicken, and tofu.
6 clams per person? Seriously?
Can this be made without white wine?
If you can’t use wine, you can just use more broth. Yummmmmmmmm
Wow, just wow. Been in the mood for recipes outside what we normally eat. I don’t even like clams but I knew I wouldn’t expire and food variety=new nutrients, plus my husband loves them. Saw lemongrass in store and grabbed it bc I have had it and liked it but never have it when I see a recipe. Lemongrass in hand I went looking for a recipe and this one did not disappoint. Very very easy to make and what a punch of flavor. We are foodies and my husband said, “This is the best flavor I have had in awhile. “ Amazing. Tip: bruise lemongrass is for real – we gave this task to our 10 year-old and she beat the crap out of it and we had to pick lemongrass threads out forever after they fell apart during cooking.
Delicious! Although, I feel the lemongrass could be omitted.
I think I will do shrimp next time around. Thanks Gina!
Lemongrass is what makes the dish!
I made this substituting sauteed, sliced mushrooms for the clams, and it was amazing!!
Savory, spicy and delicious. One of my favorite skinny taste meals! I used mussels instead of clams and it came out great.
Has anybody tried with shrimp? Try as I might, we are just not huge clam people but we love shrimp. I also love these flavors together so hoping it will be a good substitution.
I made it with shrimp tonight. It was delicious!
Excellent recipe! I used mussels instead of clams, and added a little red curry paste to it and it was amazing! Definitely making this again!
Wow Gina! This Coconut Broth recipe was delicious and fragrant. I paired it with a side of white rice and loved it =)
Made dish last night so delicious! I substituted shrimp for clams and put over Jasmine rice. My husband loved it! So easy to make also. I will be making again.
I made this recipe tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I used lemongrass paste and it worked great. I served it over squid ink pasta and my family was slurping the sauce up – it was that good. Thank you for sharing, Gina!
How much lemongrass paste did you use?
Can you sub in shrimp?
If you wish.
I will try it !!!
Why would you give this a review or three stars if you’ve never made it?…
Yo! The color of mine came out taupe bc the brown sugar and soy sauce. How would you get a the vibrant orange broth from the ingredient list provided?
Thank you for this (and all your) delicious recipe!! Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you and your loved ones. Xoxoxoxoxox