Fragrant seafood broth with clams, red snapper and rice vermicelli

Clams impart a clean ocean, earthy and a subtle nori flavor to anything you make with that. Last 2 weeks in Kerala, taught me much more about clams than I ever did, starting from buying the right ones to storing, to how to use it right with many different recipes. I am usually a bit skeptical while buying clams, as the clams are usually dug out from under the sand and thus it has to be from the cleaner part of the coast. When I caught hold of a few kilos of fresh clams, I decided to make a simple Asian soup and the rest to be shucked, vacuum packed and carry it back to Bombay.

Cleaning takes most time and also to be careful as to not let the residual sand from the clams not to come in to the food. The simple way is to shuck it after it is cleaned and then give it a quick rinse or boil it separately until its just opens and drain the water carefully through a sieve and discarding the last bit with the water. I wouldn’t recommend the clams found in our coast to eat it raw. I used the second technique for the soup I made. This healthy soup is all you need to have as a full meal. I will also give you a quick and easy way to make red paste.

Fragrant seafood broth with clams, red snapper and rice vermicelli

2 tablespoon of soup paste
1 kg of clams
250 grams red snapper cut in to cubes
500ml water
75 grams coconut milk powder (I used Maggi)
500 ml water from boiling clams
Rice noodles (boiled as per the instructions and cooled)
Coriander leaves for garnish

Easy to make red paste

10 cloves of garlic
5 small shallots 
1 lemongrass stem only (4 inch from the root)
1 inch finely sliced galangal
3 teaspoons white pepper corns
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
6 dry red spur chilies (soaked in warm water until soft)
10 – 14 small cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon dried shrimps (2 teaspoon shrimp paste if available)
3-4 pieces of lime zest

Grind all the ingredients together in a blender to a coarse paste.

Method

Boil a liter of water and when it starts to boil, add the cleaned clams until it opens up. Drain and keep the clams aside and then reserve the 500ml of the liquid and throw the rest. Dissolve coconut milk powder in 100 ml of water and then add to the rest of 400ml of water. Add 2 tablespoon of ground paste, juice of 2 large lime and the water and the clam juice and boil until all the paste is dissolved . At this point add the red snapper and the clams back in to the boiling broth and get it to just boiling again and then take it out of the heat. Add some cooked vermicelli in a bowl, pour over the soup with dome clams and red snapper and then garnish with coriander leaves. Adjust the seasoning with salt.

Categories: Travel Cuisine

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