Turmeric and Coconut Clam Curry

Today’s 5 star secret recipe comes from Louis Tikaram, the 31-year-old executive chef at E.P. & L.P., a Thai-Fijian-Indian-Chinese restaurant in West Hollywood, California.  This stylish spot has a rooftop bar and full indoor dining room.  One of the popular dishes at E.P. & L.P. is the turmeric and coconut clam curry.  This curry dish is both light and very flavorful.  This is a labor intensive dish, but the hard work pays off once you taste this wonderful clam curry.  Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

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Turmeric and Coconut Clam Curry
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Roasted shrimp paste:

About 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
Part of 1 banana leaf, optional

Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Spread a very thin layer of the paste onto a banana leaf or sheet of aluminum foil and roast until the paste is crisp and hardened, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool, then crush before using.

Alternatively, toast the paste in a dry nonstick skillet. Spread the shrimp paste over the base of a good-quality nonstick skillet. Heat the paste over medium-low heat, scraping and stirring the paste occasionally using a firm heatproof rubber spatula. Continue to heat the paste until it is dry and crumbly, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, then crush to a powder before using.

Curry paste:

About 2 cups (2 1/4 ounces, or 64 grams) dry red chiles, seeded
5 fresh Thai chiles, preferably green
4 to 6 (5 ounces, or 144 grams) shallots
1 (1-inch) piece (scant 1-ounce, or 25 grams) galangal, peeled and sliced
About 1 (8-inch) stalk (1 1/2 ounces, or 45 grams) lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, sliced crosswise into rings
About 3 (3-inch) pieces (2 1/4 ounces, or 64 grams) turmeric peeled and sliced
About 34 cloves (5 2/3 ounces, or 160 grams) garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon crumbled Roasted shrimp paste

Place the dried chiles in a large bowl. Weight the chiles down and cover with warm water. Soak the chiles until they are softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and place them in the bowl of a food processor, along with the Thai chiles, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric, garlic and roasted shrimp paste. Puree the ingredients to form a smooth, uniform paste. If the mixture is too dry, add water as needed to help puree the paste. This makes about 2 cups of paste, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Turmeric and coconut clam curry

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup (8-ounces) coconut cream
2 tablespoons prepared curry paste, more if desired
2 teaspoons oyster sauce, more if desired
1 tablespoon fish sauce, more if desired
2 tablespoons tamarind paste or liquid, more if desired
2 tablespoons palm sugar, more if desired
20 clams in the shell, preferably New Zealand, diamond or similar, cleaned
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
Chili oil, if desired
6 sea beans (blanched Chinese long beans can be substituted)
Thai basil flowers, for garnish
Thinly sliced Fresno chiles, for garnish
Steamed jasmine rice, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and cream to a boil. Stir in the curry paste and cook until the broth is aromatic and no longer tastes raw, 3 to 5 minutes. Season the broth with oyster sauce, fish sauce, tamarind and sugar.

Add the clams and cook on a low simmer until the clams are almost cooked, about 1 minute. Stir in the basil and continue to simmer until the clams are cooked and their shells are opened (discard any clams whose shells do not open).

Taste and adjust the seasonings and flavorings if desired. Plate the curry, garnishing with the sea beans, basil flowers and thinly sliced chiles. Serve alongside steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4

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Source: LA Times

Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,


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1 Comment

  1. Alan July 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Ron, We love this dish. Its delicious, beside with Thai Green Chili, I add more Fresh Chili Padi. We love spicy foods cos we are a Peranakan (Strait Born Chinese). Thank you.

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