Recipe: Asari Butter Clams

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.

Asari Butter Clams

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)
  • Oil
  • 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)

  1. 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.
  2. Heat up the skillet. Add oil and butter.
  3. Add in the chopped garlic, followed by the soy sauce and lemon juice.
  4. Stir in the clams and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat, and transfer the clams into a serving bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions.
  7. Serve warm with a good serving of (preferably Japanese) rice.

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