Steamed Whitewater Clams in Wasabi Broth with Fresh Key Lime
The pretty green color and fresh taste of this dish set it apart from the usual. You will need to look for ingredients in Asian markets. The recipe makes a large quantity of broth, but it is difficult to make clear broth in smaller quantities; refrigerate or freeze any that is left over.
- Wasabi Broth
- Water - 1 gallon
- Dashi-no-moto powder (dehydrated soup; available at Asian groceries) - 1/4 cup
- Wasabi Powder (available at Asian groceries) - 3/4 cup
- Hyashi Wakame (seaweed; available at Asian groceries) - 2 cups
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Whitewater or Littleneck clams - 80
- Dry sake - 2 cups
- Key Limes - 2, peeled
- Pickled Ginger (available at Asian groceries) - 1/4 cup, shredded
To make the broth: Mix the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil for 60 seconds. Stir well, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Put in a tall clear heatproof container and let the solids settle to the bottom for 1 hour. Ladle the clear broth from the top into a nonaluminum container. Set aside.
To steam the clams: Place all of the clams and the sake in a covered 4 - 6 quart pot. Place over high heat and watch until you see steam; cook for five minutes from that point, then turn off the heat and leave the pot, covered, on the burner for 5 more minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the clams from the cooking liquid and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan to cool; if the clams remain stacked while they are hot, they will continue to cook and become overdone. Reserve the liquid to re-cook any clams which have not opened. Let the clams cool 5 minutes. Separate the shells into single pieces and separate the meat from the shells. Place each piece of clam meat in a clam shell halves and place on the sheet pan. You may re-steam any clams which have not opened; if they still do not open, discard them.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place a thin layer of hyashi wakame on the bottom of eight large ovenproof soup bowls. Arrange 10 pieces clams in each garnished bowl. Carefully ladle the wasabi broth over the clams to fill the bottoms of the bowls and fill the shells; do not overfill or the clams will float out of their shells. Place a small piece of lime in each shell on top of the clam. Repeat with the pickled ginger. Place in the oven 3 - 5 minutes, until warmed through. Serve immediately.