I've been wanting to make this dish for weeks and I finally came around to it today. Sizzled clams with noodles and watercress, doesn't that just sound delicious? If you're ever in a hurry and want a simple but full-flavored meal, this is the one to go to. I was able to go to the market, shop, and cook this entree in just one hour! Enjoy with a chilled glass of sparkling white wine to complete the dish.
Sizzled Clams with Noodles and Watercress
- 1 lb dried flour noodles
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 garlic clove thinly sliced
- 1 Thai chile chopped
- 2 dozen littleneck clams scrubbed and rinsed
- 1 ½ tsp Chinese black bean sauce
- ¼ cup sake
- 12 ounces watercress thick stems discarded
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- Cook noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse in cold water. Toss the noodles in 1 tsp oil to prevent them from sticking.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and Thai chile and saute for 30 seconds. Add the clams, black bean sauce and sake and cover the pan. Continue to cook until the clams open about 7 minutes. Remove the clams from heat.
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the watercress and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the noodles, oyster sauce and butter, stirring to coat the ingredients in the sauce. Return the clams to the pan and stir to combine. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
For this sizzled clams with noodles recipe, I used manila clams instead of littleneck clams. The difference? Littleneck clams are from the east coast while manila clams are from the west coast; both are relatively the same size, on the smaller end.
When picking clams, choose the ones that are closed. If the shell is slightly open, give it a light tap and if the clam is still fresh and alive, it should close. If not, this may mean that the clam is no longer alive and will not open further even after being cooked. Give the clams a good wash and scrub to remove any dirt or debris.
For the noodles, you can choose to use egg noodles or regular flour noodles like I did. Just remember to drain and rinse in cold water to prevent it from continuing to cook.
The cooking process of this dish goes very quickly so make sure you have all of your items prepared and ready to be added when it is time. Just like when you are stir-frying in a wok, you want to have all of the items already prepped. Steam the clams in the sake and black bean sauce, add the noodles and watercress and finish with a little butter and oyster sauce.
I loved the flavors of this dish! The freshness of the clams contrasted the savoriness of the broth while the bitterness of the watercress balanced the saltiness of the overall meal. The addition of the one Thai chile also made it slightly spicy, just the right amount so your lips are slightly tingly. I made the full recipe for 2 people and we were stuffed and happy afterward. A definite recipe keeper!
For more clam recipe inspiration check out this Japanese clam curry!