Asari Butter Clams (or Manila Clams in Soy Butter) is one of my favourite comfort foods ever. It’s simple, flavourful, and pairs well with sticky Japanese rice. It’s a match made in heaven for me.
Back in Manila, I had a go-to restaurant that served the most satisfying batch of Asari Butter, but the last time I visited that restaurant, I came out with a mild case of food poisoning and a bad case of diarrhea. I’ve never visited that restaurant since that unfortunate encounter, but the taste of their Asari Butter clams still lingered.
So, I Googled a recipe, tweaked some ingredients, and the result was a surprisingly good dish. Didn’t add any sake (because we didn’t have any in the pantry), but the recipe still worked. I was really happy with how this dish came out—mainly because I was able to satisfy my craving—but also because it was extremely easy to prepare.
INGREDIENTS (makes 2 portions; or 1 if you’re greedy)
- 1 pack shelled manila clams (I got mine frozen from a Japanese grocery)
- 3 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/3 block of unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce (I used Kikkoman)
- Juice of half a lemon
- Chopped spring onions for garnish
PREPARATION (around 10 minutes)
- Thaw the clams if you got them frozen from the grocery. I actually forgot to thaw mine so I steamed them in the rice cooker instead until they were not icy anymore—but not fully cooked because they would go in the skillet later.
- Heat up the skillet. Add oil and butter.
- Add in the chopped garlic, followed by the soy sauce and lemon juice.
- Stir in the clams and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, and transfer the clams into a serving bowl.
- Sprinkle with chopped spring onions.
- Serve warm with a good serving of (preferably Japanese) rice.