Sour & Spicy Lala Clams

Here’s one from way back in the day! I have tons of unblogged dishes stashed up everywhere. Haha! I tend to just instinctively take pictures of stuff I cook and then forget about them. It’s as though my mind thinks that once pictures are captured and the phone/camera put down, it’s done. That’s probably why I blog so little now! Snap snap snap then gone!

Seeing as lately I haven’t been making anything particularly interesting, it’s nice looking through older food pictures and blogging about the good old days. Looking at this counter top brings back so many feelings. All the feels! (Never use that phrase again, Jayne.)

Way back when, I made a simple clam stirfry using a local shellfish we call lala. Hehe… it’s kinda funny sounding.
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 1

The primary flavour components come from Lemongrass (Serai), Dried Chillies, Dried Tamarind Slices (Asam Keping), Garlic & Salted Fish packed in Oil (Ikan Tenggiri Masin).
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 2

They are open because I soaked them in water for a while. I made sure to rinse them really well as these clams tend to contain a lot of mud. 
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 3

You can totally omit the salted fish, sub with fish sauce or use anchovy fillets. I know some people abhor fishy smells and flavours. We kinda live for it. 😉
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 4

A good saute brings out all the flavours.
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 5

Just a touch of water to rehydrate all those dried ingredients.
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 6

And the star of the show!!
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 7

It’s very easy to know when clams are done. When they’re all open, that’s when.
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 8

This bowl seems unimpressive but I bet you can imagine the flavour explosions happening!
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 9

Sour, spicy, fragrant & briny.
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 10

 Sweet even, from those fresh fresh clams. Now I want some.


 “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” {Romans 1:20}

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Sour & Spicy Lala Clams
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Malaysian
Serves: 4
  • 500 gms (1.1 lbs) Lala Clams, well rinsed
  • 1 Lemongrass stalk
  • 3 Dried Red Chillies
  • 2 Dried Tamarind Slices (substitute with 1 tbsp Lime juice)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 slice Salted Fish + 1 tbsp Oil it's packed in (substitute ½ tbsp Fish Sauce, 1 Anchovy Fillets or omit and just use Salt)
  • ½ cup Water
  1. Heat up oil on MED from salted fish jar (or use cooking oil) in a deep pan.
  2. Meanwhile, use handle of knife to crush the white part of lemongrass.
  3. Toss lemongrass, chillies, salted fish, garlic & tamarind slices into the pan.
  4. Saute for about 1 min until fragrant.
  5. Pour in water. Let it simmer for about 2 mins to rehydrate tamarind & chillies.
  6. Add clams. Turn heat to HIGH. Stir briefly then cover pan.
  7. After 2 mins, open pan & stir again. Once all clams have opened, dish up & serve immediately.
  8. Alternatively, you can remove opened clams with tongs one by one to prevent then from overcooking while some are still unopened.

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