Clam Soup with Starfruit and Herbs
Canh Ngheu

 

 

 

Clam Soup with Starfruit and Herbs

 

This unusual recipe is quite easy to prepare, and like many of the soups
in Vietnam, relies heavily on fresh ingredients. Starfruit, also known as
carambola, is increasingly available in specialty food shops. Thin slices
of fresh, tart pineapple may be used if starfruit is not available.

2 lbs (1 kg) fresh unshucked clams
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock or 1 to 2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 4 cups
(1 liter) hot water
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons minced baby leeks or spring onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon dried shrimp paste or belachan, crumbled (optional)
1 medium ripe starfruit or 2 large chunks fresh pineapple, thinly sliced
1 finger-length red chili, deseeded and cut into thin strips
Sprigs of coriander leaves (cilantro), to garnish
Polygonum leaves (rau ram), to garnish

 

1 Rinse and clean the clams thoroughly in a couple of changes of water.
2 Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a stockpot. Add the clams and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are all open. Remove from the heat and set
aside to cool. Remove the clams from their shells and set aside. Discard
the shells. Strain the stock and return the clear soup to the pot.
3 Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry the baby leeks or
spring onions and garlic until fragrant,
about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the clams
and season with the fish sauce and shrimp paste. Remove from the heat.
4 Bring the clear soup to a boil. Add the clam mixture and starfruit or pineapple slices, mix well and remove from the heat immediately.
5 Spoon the clam soup into individual serving bowls and top with some sliced
chili. Serve hot, garnished with coriander (cilantro) and polygonum leaves.

 

Note: This recipe is also ideal for mussels. If available, use the small, green-
lipped variety. For many of the fish soups in Vietnam, chicken or pork stock
are commonly used. If you prefer, a clear vegetable or fish stock may also
be used for this recipe.

 

Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 10 mins

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 



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