This batch of buttery, salty seafood is just the thing to enjoy with the family. The Bibo Pils chili clams get a swirling aroma of spiced, Thai ingredients all melded together. From chef Andy Gonzales of The Companion in Atlanta, garlic, scallions, ginger, and chili come together in this crustacean celebration. The sound of the clams “popping” open adds a delicious spontaneity. Perfect for friends and gatherings or just to keep you toasty on a gray day, these chili clams are the perfect meal.
Pair with: Creature Comforts Bibo Pilsner
From Beer Pairings for your Super Bowl Sunday
3 to 4 people
2 quarts cold water
2 tablespoons kosher or pink Himalayan salt (Do not use iodized salt!)
20 littleneck clams
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
½ cup sliced Chinese-style sausage (Kam Yen Jan Brand, preferably)* or ¼ cup andouille
1 shallot, julienned thin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced fine
½-1 serrano chile, depending on preferred level of heat, sliced thin
1 tablespoon Pantai Thai crab paste with soya bean oil*
8 ounces Creature Comforts Bibo Pils (feel free to drink the rest of the can!)
2 large scallions, sliced thin, green and white parts
½ fresh lime
1 handful cilantro, torn once or twice, not chopped
Buttered and toasted baguette or jasmine rice for serving
- In a large bowl pour 2 quarts cold water and whisk in salt, incorporating as best you can. Add clams. The idea is to mimic the salinity of the ocean to help the clams purge any excess sand and grit. Place bowl into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
- Once clams have purged, gently transfer them from brine solution to a colander. Rinse thoroughly with cold tap water, treating them gently to avoid shattering the shells. Discard salt water.
- Heat a large sauté pan or saucier with a snug lid on medium-high heat with the lid off. Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan and let begin to bubble, then add sausage and render until it begins to slightly darken and shine, becoming pungently porky. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, and serrano chili to sweat until fragrant, softened, and a touch caramelized. Add Thai crab paste and stir for a few moments until fragrant.
- Add clams. A sweet and savory funk should abound. Stir to incorporate and then pour in Creature Comforts Bibo Pils and place lid on pan. Reduce heat to medium-low or whatever maintains a solid simmer. Leave the pan covered until you hear the audible “pop” of clams opening (check visually after about 5 minutes if necessary). Remove open clams and place them in a medium serving bowl, replacing lid in order to maintain temperature and help other clams finish cooking.
- Once all clams are cooked and open (discard any that do not open after 8-10 minutes), turn off heat and add the remaining butter and sliced scallion. Squeeze lime into pan and reserve squeezed lime hull. Shake pan gently back and forth to “mount” the butter, dissolving it into the liquid. When butter has fully melted, pour liquid over clams in bowl. Garnish clams with cilantro and use a microplane to zest previously squeezed lime over the whole shebang. Serve with buttered and toasted baguette or jasmine rice and a cold Bibo Pils.
*These ingredients can be found at most Asian markets. Is it worth the extra trip? Yes!
Recipe byAndy Gonzales of The Companion, Atlanta