Yes, yes, I know. I know what you’re going to ask. We’ve just passed Christmas, is it a little bit too early for a CNY-ish recipe? To which I say, pah! Zipdelah! Speth! Of course it isn’t too early.
If there’s one thing that makes Chinese New Year more bearable by far than the Westerners’ holiday season, it is that it doesn’t expect us to eat things we would actively avoid for the rest of the year. Who in their right mind roasts a turkey in March? There’s something better called chicken.
But there is always a space at the table for Pacific clams. Good old Siliqua patula, it turns out, is a particularly broad razor clam (a dagger clam, then?), and its exuberant springiness, the rich brine with a hint of meatiness in it, makes it good for a quick stir fry with just about anything. Just be sure not to fry it past the point of rubberiness.
4 garlic chives
2 carrots (or 3 slender ones)
Can of pacific clams
4 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
1 thumb of ginger
Shaoxing rice liquor
Cut everything: garlic chives into 2 cm sections, carrots and ginger into thin slices, onion into quarters. Mince the garlic. Open and drain the can of pacific clams.
In a pot, with a little oil, sauté the minced garlic, then onions, ginger and carrots. Once the carrots are slightly softened, add the garlic chives, then the oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice liquor and sugar.
Add the pacific clams only near the end – they’re already cooked, after all – and stir them in, then cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let it all steam and mingle inside for a few minutes before serving, most probably with rice.