Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce

Belacan Clams


  • 2 lb fresh clams [Lala in Malay]
  • cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp or to taste, chili paste
  • 2 tsp belacan, also spelt belachan or blacan [dried shrimp paste]
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 limau kesturi [kalamansi limes], juiced [Substitute: 1 kaffir lime or regular lime]
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp corn starch combined with 3 tbsp water to make a slurry
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 5-6 shallots
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, sliced thinly
  • 1 inch fresh galangal [lengkuas, in Malay] [Substitute: ginger], sliced

     [Items to be ground or blended in red]

Don't Forget The Belacan!!

Don't Forget The Belacan!!



        To Prepare :

  • Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind onion, shallots, lemongrass and galangal into a paste
  • Wash clams under cold running water, drain
  • Heat oil in wok on high, add ground paste, chili paste, belacan and sugar
  • Stir-fry until quite toasted and oil starts to ooze from paste - do not burn!
  • Add clams, lime juice and 3-4 tbsp water, stir-fry well to coat
  • Cover wok, cook briefly until clams open
  • Remove cover, add cornstarch slurry, stir well to coat, taste for salt, add accordingly
  • Serve immediately

Cook's Note : The type of clams used in this recipe are locally harvested on the shores of Malaysia. It's the type of clams you usually find in cans, marketed as 'Baby Clams' - imported from Southeast Asia. You can use any type of clams available to you - cherrystone clams, little neck clams, quahogs or manila clams.




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