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Black Pepper Clams

The oils released from freshly ground peppercorns offer more punch than pre-ground pepper. Here, Australian chef Pete Evans shares his twist on this spicy Asian dish.

Black Pepper Clams

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2012

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds clams
  • Coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh peeled ginger, julienned
  • 30 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed, plus freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro stems, preferably with the root attached
  • 2 red finger chiles, seeded and julienned
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed and sliced on the bias
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Place clams in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover; lightly salt water and let stand for 2 hours to help purge sand from clams; drain and set aside.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a wok or high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, peppercorns, cilantro root, and chiles; cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant. Stir in oyster sauce and clams; cook until clams begin to open.

  3. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add snow peas, cilantro, and lemon juice; season with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately over steamed rice garnished with lemon wedges.