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Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (豉椒炒蜆)

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Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce01

Stir-fried clam dish is my long-time favourite childhood street food, that I often enjoyed with my friends in Central, Hong Kong. The heat of the clams was sensational enough, making our chats over our meal memorable. The meat of clams is delicate and tender, quick to pick up all the goodies of the sauce, so they are perfect for stir-frying. When it comes to making this dish, make sure not to overcook them as you don’t want them turn rubbery. I can’t stress enough that the sauce is very delicious and it’s the soul of the dish. It's perfect to go with a cold drink.

Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (Printable recipe)
By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 10 mins (plus soaking clam time)
Cook time: 10 mins
Yield: 2 to 3 serves

  • 1 kg clams
  • 2 tsp minced shallots
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fermented black soybeans (aka douchi 豆豉)
  • 1 Tbsp shredded ginger
  • 3 to 4 spring onion, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp white rice cooking wine
  • 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • 120 ml water
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp chilli oil, optional
  • 1 tsp corn flour / corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp water
How To Stir Fry Clams

  1. Soak the clams in salted water for 2 to 3 hours and let them release sands inside. Rinse thoroughly. Briefly blanch in boiling water until they are slightly open. Immediately drain them in a colander. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the fermented black soybeans and drain well. Use a large spoon to press them into a paste. You might like to reserve some in whole shape to enhance the presentation.
  3. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, fermented black soybeans, ginger and half of the spring onion, until aromatic.
  4. Toss the clams into the wok. Increase heat to high and stir fry until aromatic. Sprinkle wine around the edge of wok. Add the sauce, red chilli. Quickly stir to combine. Cook for a few seconds. Add the rest of spring onion. Stir in the thickening and cook to preferred consistency. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce02

  • Don’t ever cook the clams too long while blanching, as they have to be stir fried later on and you don’t want the meat turn rubbery.
  • Discard any unopened clams because they are dead already.
  • If you like a stronger kick of chilli, you might like to sauté the red chilli with fermented black soybeans. Or add more chilli oil if you like.
  • If you have smaller kids, you might skip the red chilli.


  1. I haven't had clams in a long while...yours with black bean sauce looks droolworthy, Christine.

  2. I love clams but have never tried cooking them. My favourite version are 上汤 and 干香。 I'm sure yours would be in my favourite list soon. ;)

  3. Where do i get the fermented black soybeans from?

  4. It looks delish! Thanks for sharing. Could you recommend the brand for the black soy bean?


    1. I used Lee Kum Kee's. If you find any other brand that comes in handy or suits your taste, you can use it. It doesn't matter.

  5. Yum! This is one of my favourite ways to eat clams.

  6. I live in Brisbane too ! So good to see your recipes for ideas. Whereabout did get the clams from?

    1. You can get some fresh/frozen clams at Inala, or Yuen's at Market Square.

  7. That looks delish! I always have issue fully cleaning out the sand out of the clam:P

  8. that looks so good... i always have difficulty getting all the sand out of the clams maybe i'm not leaving it inn the salt water long enough

  9. Hi christine, i love this dish! Do you know how we can store the uncooked clams? If I buy them in the the afternoon, how do I store in the fridge until I cook it for dinner time?

    1. They're normally packed in plastic bags. I simply put the whole packet in the fridge, or sometimes transfer them in a container with water and soak them. It depends on how long I have to wait for cooking.