Replicate that zi char flavour at home with this dish of spicy clams.
This is my take on the kam heong sauce that is said to have Malaysian origins.
In Cantonese, kam heong means "golden fragrance". It is believed to be a unique combination of elements from different food cultures.
The sauce is built on a base of dried prawns and includes the use of curry leaves and curry powder which are not used in traditional Chinese cooking.
Use chilli padi if you like more heat.
The recipe can be adapted to cook chicken, prawns or other shellfish.
This dish cooks rapidly and do watch the curry powder once you add it to the wok or pan because it burns easily.
- 350g clams
- 50g dried prawn, soaked and chopped
- 8 shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 red finger chillies, sliced
- 1 sprig of curry leaves, de-stemmed
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dark soya sauce
- 1 tsp light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 150ml water
- Cooking oil
1. Fill a basin with enough water to cover the clams. Mix in 2 tsp of salt and soak for 45 minutes.
2. Discard clams that remain open when tapped.
3. Drain, refill and add the same amount of salt. Soak for another 45 minutes.
4. Rinse the clams and set aside.
5. Heat some oil and fry the chopped dried prawn until crispy.
6. Add the shallots and garlic. Fry until fragrant. (A)
7. Add the curry leaves. Fry briefly and add the curry powder. (B)
8. Add the light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
9. Add the clams and chilli. (C)
10. Add the water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and stir the mixture.
11. Cover and continue to cook until the clams open. Discard any unopened clams.