Razor clams with black bean chilli

by Jeremy Pang


2 garlic cloves
½ thumb-size piece of ginger
2 tsp preserved fermented black beans
12 fresh razor clams or 500g fresh mussels
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
Vegetable oil, for frying
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

For the sauce:
1 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
100ml chicken stock
1 tsp sugar


Finely chop the garlic and ginger, then ideally put into a mortar, or alternatively a food processor. Wash the fermented black beans and add them to the mortar or food processor and crush together to form a paste. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin.

Soak the razor clams in salted cold water for 10 mins, then blanch in boiling hot water for 1 min. Once they have cooled enough to be handled, they need to be cleaned—much like mussels, there is a ‘beard’ of sorts that can be quite dirty. The clams should have opened up from the blanching process, and you will now see the white meat, with a slightly dark part attached. Pull apart and discard the dark, sandy part of the clam until you are left with just the white meaty parts, while continuing to clean each shell under the running cold tap. Once the clams have been cleaned thoroughly, place them in a bowl of cold water once more.

Now build your ‘wok clock’: place the razor clams at 12 o’clock, then arrange the spring onion, black bean paste, chilli and lastly the sauce bowl clockwise around the plate.

Bring 1 tbsp vegetable oil to a high heat in a wok and swirl it round with a ladle or spatula. Once smoking hot, add the spring onion and stir-fry for 30 secs. Next, add the black bean paste and fry for a further 10–20 secs.

Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to the wok and allow it to smoke. Add the chilli, stir-fry continuously for 10 secs, then pour in the sauce. Bring to a vigorous boil, then add the clams, folding the sauce evenly through them, and cover with a lid. Steam with the lid on for 1 min, then remove the lid and fold everything together once more for a final 1-2 mins, to make sure it’s all evenly coated and seasoned.

Serve immediately, garnished with the coriander leaves and a few of the blanched razor clam shells.

Recipe: Jeremy Pang
Image: Kris Kirkham

From Hong Kong Diner by Jeremy Pang