Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Asian Steamed Clams with Ginger and Rice Wine

I love clams. All sorts and in all different ways. Cooking clams isn't hard at all. It's a great way to impress a crowd that doesn't take too much time in the kitchen. I like steaming my clams like how most people have theirs: with a bit of aromatics such as garlic, shallots, and onions steamed with white wine. 

For the below recipe, instead of going the typical route, I decided to give it an Asian twist. I added ginger for zing and chili paste for kick. I used rice wine instead of white wine and fish sauce instead of salt. I also added bacon fat to give the clams some extra body and flavor. Bacon fat isn't an Asian ingredient but it is a universal truth that everything tastes better with bacon fat. 

Serve the clams with a loaf of toasted french baguette to slop up the savory broth, or simply do what I did. Pick up the bowl entirely and slurp down the broth. I don't judge. 

 Asian Steamed Clams with Ginger and Rice Wine

Asian Steamed Clams with Ginger and Rice Wine

Asian Steamed Clams with Ginger and Rice Wine Recipe


  • 3 lbs Manila clams (cleaned and scrubbed)
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat
  • Half of large onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced and sliced thinly)
  • 1 inch knob ginger (peeled and julienned) 
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 2-3 sprigs cilantro (minced)


  1. In a large skillet with a lid, heat up the pork fat on medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili paste. Cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar, and wine. Mix until combined and let it come to a boil. 
  4. Once the mixture is boiling, add the clams and give it a toss until the clams are evenly coated.
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid and turn the heat to low. Steam the clams until they all open up (10-15 minutes). Discard any clams that fail to open.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with toasted baguette.