Stir-Fried Clams In Black Bean Sauce

March 28, 2023

We have gone far too long without any bivalve-based dishes on this blog, and clams seem to go hand in hand with summer. I know that Judy has a soft spot for these stir-fried clams in black bean sauce since they were so delicious.

This should fill up not only one but two gaps in our collection of recipes, as we have yet to find a nice black bean dish.

The manila clams we used were relatively small (only around 25-30 per pound), but they were gorgeous and tasty. They go particularly well in stir-fried dishes, which may be served as an entree when served with white rice or as an appetizer when presented on their own.

Cherrystone and Littleneck clams, while slightly larger, are more widely available in North America and are just as tasty as their smaller cousins.

Indicators of Quality When Purchasing Fresh Clams

To start with this stir-fried clams in black bean sauce recipe, here are some short and vital suggestions for obtaining fresh clams.

  • Find a reputable fishmonger or seafood market to purchase your clams from. You have a better chance of acquiring alive, well, and free sand clams if you purchase them from a vendor that keeps them in live tanks.
  • As a sign of life, clams must be tightly closed or close when touched. Alive clams can be picked out of the cooking process if they are closed. Don’t forget to rely on your sense of scent when shopping. They ought to have a pleasant aroma and not reek of fish at all.
  • Keep clams in the wax bag your seafood market gave you in the fridge until you’re ready to utilize them. You shouldn’t buy them the day before using them, and you definitely shouldn’t let them sit for longer than a day.

Once you’ve gotten your hands on some fresh, live clams, this stir-fried clams in black bean sauce is a breeze to prepare, so let’s get this party started.


  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh clams (washed thoroughly)
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 scallion (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 long green pepper (sliced;de-seed if you like)
  • 1 long red pepper; sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of rinsed and drained fermented black beans
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper


  1. Ensure that your clams are clean before proceeding. You can’t imagine how upsetting it would be to discover sand in your meal. Oil should be heated in a wok over high heat once all of the ingredients have been prepped, and the dish is ready to be cooked. Carefully watch the ginger while it caramelizes for around 20 seconds.
  2. Toss in the garlic, scallion, peppers, and fermented black beans and stir-fry for a minute. Combine the clams into the dish. Shaoxing wine should be poured over the edge of the wok and the wok should be covered quickly.
  3. Maintain cooking until clams show signs of opening. If you cover your wok now, the liquid within should be boiling and producing steam. How long it takes for the clams to open during cooking is dependent on the size and variety of clams used as well as the temperature of the cooking surface. Remove the lid and give everything a good swirl once a significant number of them have opened.
  4. Mix in the pepper, oil, and sugar. The unopened clams should be thrown away. Try some of this sauce. You can add some soy sauce to increase the saltiness if necessary. Whenever the sauce’s flavor is to your liking, add half of the cornstarch slurry to the pan and swirl to thicken the liquid. If more sauce thickening is desired, the additional slurry can be added.
  5. Add the chopped cilantro and swirl so that the clams are covered in the sauce.
  6. Start serving right away.
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