Red Curry Clams

May/June 2011

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This simple recipe of clams cooked in a spicy Thai red curry sauce takes advantage of prepared Thai curry paste, which is available at well-stocked supermarkets and Asian-foods stores. We call for red curry paste but use whatever type you prefer. This recipe also works with about 4 pounds of mussels. Serve with crusty bread to soak up any leftover sauce.

Red Curry Clams

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 5 pounds littleneck, manila or other small clams
  • 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (see Note)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Wash clams thoroughly to remove any grit.
  2. Bring coconut milk, lime juice, wine, brown sugar, curry paste, garlic and fish sauce to a boil in a Dutch oven or other large pot, stirring occasionally. Add the clams, tossing to combine. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams are open, 7 to 10 minutes. (Discard any unopened clams.)
  3. Stir in cilantro. Taste the broth and adjust the flavors to your taste. Serve in deep bowls with lime wedges for squeezing.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of well-stocked supermarkets and at Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our recipe testing and nutritional analyses.


Per serving: 266 calories; 8 g fat (5 g sat, 0 g mono); 57 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 7 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 0 g fiber; 526 mg sodium; 631 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Iron (133% daily value), Vitamin C (47% dv), Vitamin A (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv), Zinc (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (other), 3 lean meat, 1 fat

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