Food & dining
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    Recipe for coconut clam chowder

    Serves 4 as an appetizer

    2tablespoons vegetable oil
    2ounces pancetta, chopped
    1shallot, finely chopped
    ½onion, finely chopped
    1stalk celery, finely chopped
    1stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
    ¼cup white wine
    ¼cup flour
    1can (6½ ounces) chopped clams with their juices
    1cup coconut milk
    1cup regular milk
    2cups water
    Salt and black pepper, to taste
    1medium russet potato, peeled and finely chopped
    ¾cup heavy cream
    2tablespoons green curry paste
    Juice of ½ lime
    10manilla or littleneck clams in their shell, washed
    Crushed red peppers (for garnish)
    Few sprigs Thai or regular basil, leaves chopped (for garnish)

    1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the pancetta, and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the shallot, onion, celery, and lemongrass. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

    2. Pour in the wine and simmer to reduce by half. Add the flour, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until the liquid thickens slightly.

    3. Add the canned clams and their juices with the coconut milk, regular milk, and water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a very gentle boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.

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    4. In a pan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add the potatoes and the cream to the pot. Whisk in the curry paste, and add the lime juice. Add the clams in their shells and cover the pot. In 2 or 3 minutes check to see if any clams have not opened; discard any closed clams.

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    5. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crushed red peppers and basil.

    Adapted from “L.A. Son”