Wok-Stirred Clams and Black Beans
As a Midwesterner, I didn't have clams available locally. Once I tasted them with black beans on the East Coast, though, I was seriously hooked. This easy version of that pairing forgoes the usual cornstarch, so it has a more delicate texture. The addition of basil and tomatoes gives it a very welcome Western flavor, too. If you're not a clam fancier, you can substitute mussels. Just follow the recipe as written.
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 pounds Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/2 cup Black Bean-Garlic Sauce (page 32)
1 cup Master Chicken Broth (page 192) or homemade or store-bought vegetable stock
1 cup tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves cut into 1/16-inch ribbons
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the clams and stir-fry until they have opened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Black Bean-Garlic Sauce and chicken broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and butter. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve immediately.