Chinese Clam Stir-Fry with Black Beans recipe
- 500 g clams cleaned and soaked in saltwater
- 2 tbsp fermented black beans rinsed and washed
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
- 2 Stick green onions separate white and green parts
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 slice Red Chili Pepper
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing win
- 1 Fresh cilantro
- Clean the clams: Soaking clams in saltwater helps to simulate their natural environment, encouraging them to purge sand and grit. Rinse under cold water to remove any remaining impurities.
- Prepare the sauce: Combining the liquid ingredients with cornstarch creates a slurry. Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent due to its high starch content, which will help to thicken the sauce when heated.
- Fry the aromatics: Heating garlic, ginger, and green onions in oil releases their aromatic compounds, enhancing the dish's flavor. The oil helps to distribute these flavors evenly.
- Add the black beans: Fermented black beans are rich in umami flavors due to the breakdown of proteins into amino acids during fermentation. Stir-frying them releases these flavors into the dish.
- Cook the clams: Adding clams and covering the wok creates a steamy environment, which helps the clams to open. Clams open when cooked as the heat causes the adductor muscle to relax. This step also ensures that the clams are cooked through, making them safe to eat.
- Add the sauce: The addition of the sauce and subsequent heating activates the cornstarch, causing the sauce to thicken. This thickening occurs as the heat causes the starch molecules to absorb water and swell, creating a gel-like consistency.
- Final touches: Adding the green parts of the onions towards the end preserves their color and texture, as prolonged heat can cause them to wilt and lose vibrancy.
- Discard any clams that haven't opened as they might be dead and potentially harmful. Fresh cilantro adds a burst of fresh flavor and aroma, which can enhance the overall sensory experience of the dish.
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