Aromatic, flavorful and ready in minutes

  • By Sue Ade
  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016 5:21pm
  • LifeFood

A dish full of steamed Thai-Style Mussels and Clams is a little deceiving. For the uninitiated, it appears to be a lot of work and an intricate dish to bring to the table. But, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Besides having to clean the mussels and clams thoroughly, the only painstaking part of the process, perhaps, might involve the gathering of ingredients to make the dish as authentic as possible, as well as using caution when handling one if its key components.

Among the essential ingredients needed to make Thai-Style Mussels and Clams is lemongrass, bird’s eye chili peppers, Thai basil and fish sauce. Finding these ingredients is not as difficult as it once was due, in part, to the number of home cooks who have embraced Asian cuisine. Some of us are able to grow our own lemongrass, Thai basil and chili peppers from seed, with fish sauce – even the premium kind – being available at even modestly-sized supermarkets. Asian and ethnic markets are rich sources for ingredients, while others seek on-line sources as a starting point for their supplies.

If you’re a seasoned handler of chili peppers, you can skim over this paragraph, but if you are new to working with them, be extremely cautious. The peppers contain oil-based capsaicin, a powerful element that can cause severe burning if it comes into contact with your eyes or other membranes of the body. You can remove capsaicin from your hands by rubbing them with cooking oil before washing them with dishwashing liquid. Or, eliminate the problem altogether by wearing plastic or latex gloves.

If for one reason or another you don’t get to cook your clams or mussels the same day as you bring them home, you can store them for up to a day. Take them out of their wrappings and place them in a dry bowl in the refrigerator. Mussels and clams are living and perishable and need room to breathe.

More in Life

Christ Lutheran Church Pastor Meredith Harber displays necklaces featuring the cross in this undated photo. (Photo by Meredith Harber/courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Interwoven together for good

I hope that we can find that we have more in common than we realize

A sign points to the Kenai Art Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Art Center accepting submissions for ‘Medieval Forest’

The deadline to submit art is Saturday at 5 p.m.

People identifying as Democrats and people identifying as Republicans sit face to face during a workshop put on by Braver Angels in this screenshot from “Braver Angels: Reuniting America.” (Screenshot courtesy Braver Angels)
KPC lecture series to feature film and discussion about connecting across political divide

“Braver Angels: Reuniting America” is a nonpartisan documentary about a workshop held in the aftermath of the 2016 election of Donald Trump

Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
This basil avocado dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous — great for use on bitter greens like kale and arugula.
Memories of basil and bowling with Dad

This dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous

Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger
Don and Verona pose inside their first Soldotna grocery store in 1952, the year they opened for business.
Keeler Clan of the Kenai — Part 5

By 1952, the Wilsons constructed a simple, rectangular, wood-frame building and started the town’s first grocery

Minister’s Message: Finding freedom to restrain ourselves

We are free to speak at a higher level of intelligence

Dancers rehearse a hula routine at Diamond Dance Project near Soldotna on Thursday. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Moving into magic

Diamond Dance Project all-studio concert puts original spin on familiar stories

Orion (Jacob Tremblay) and Dark (Paul Walter Hauser) in “Orion and the Dark.” (Promotional photo provided by Dreamworks Animation)
On the Screen: ‘Orion and the Dark’ is resonant, weird

Fear of the dark is natural, not some problem that Orion has to go on adventure to overcome

This beef and barley stew is both comforting and nourishing — perfect for when your fingers are frozen and your cheeks are chapped. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Drape yourself in warmth with comforting stew

Nourishing beef and barley stew is perfect for cold days

Most Read