One of the nice things about cooking with clams is that it’s easy to quickly conjure-up a tasty treat. I’ve long enjoyed a simple appetizer of baked clams served with a delicious dipping sauce.
Baking clams is as simple as cleaning them, setting them on a baking tray with rock salt to keep them from tipping over and baking until they open. Two things to remember is not to over-cook the clams as the meat with become rubbery and as always discard any unopened clams.
Generally, smaller clams will be more tender so I prefer to use these.
Now for the interesting part – the sauce.
- 1 cube of chicken bouillon
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- black pepper
- pinch of Hon Dashi (optional)
- Dissolve the 1 cube of chicken bouillon in half a cup of hot water. This should produce a double-concentration chicken broth.
- In a small pot, combine the chicken broth, butter, thyme and bay leaves.
- Slightly reduce the mixture to thicken it.
- Add the teaspoon of lemon juice and black pepper to taste, cook for a few more minutes.
- Remove from heat and mix in the garlic.
- Optionally you can add a pinch of Hon Dashi pellets. This will give your sauce a more fishy taste; you can experiment by making two batches and seeing which you prefer.
- Serve hot with lemon wedges and bread. Remember not to let your clams dry out prior to serving them.