Clam congee is another one of the many comfort dishes from my parents' home town. It's traditionally made with tiny clams dredged up from the Perfume River in Hue, Vietnam by the locals. To taste these tiny clams in Hue is a magical experience, but here in my Boston kitchen, I use either live little neck clams or Snow's minced clams in juice to recreate a similar taste.
Whether using live little neck clams or canned clams, what you will need to do is cook and/or separate the clam meat from its juice.
Ingredients for congee:
- olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed & drained
- 1 cup clam juice
- 8-12 cups water
- olive oil
- 1 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, finely minced (bulb only)
- 1 cup minced clam meat
- fish sauce
- sea salt
- cracked black pepper
- fresh chili, thinly sliced
- spring onion, sliced into rings
- coriander leaves, chopped
- Vietnamese coriander leaves, chopped
- finely cracked black pepper
- lime wedges
Heat up a separate skillet and drizzle with oil. Add in some shallot and fry until aromatic. Add garlic and continue to fry until aromatic. Toss in the clams and season with fish sauce, salt, black pepper and a little sprinkle of sugar. This mixtured of cooked clams can then be added to the pot of congee to finish cooking together or it can be set aside to serve as a topping for the plain congee.
To serve the clam congee, ladle piping hot congee into a bowl. Top with clams, slices of chili, fresh herbs, finely cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lime. Stir up the congee so that it wilts the fresh herbs and enjoy the burst of flavors in your mouth.