Clams (or Mussels) With Lime-Butter Sauce

January  5, 2015
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Very lightly adapted from Charles Phan's The Slanted Door Cookbook. Key changes: for the heat-phobic child, I have left out the Thai chiles that Phan calls for. (If you have a pro-chile children, halve four Thai chiles and add them when the clams go in.) And although Phan calls for clams alone, I think this is every bit as good with mussels, which kids may favor (clams being tougher to chew). Also, while rice wine and Thai basil are obviously more Slanted Door in spirit, I have also made this with white wine and Italian basil. Reader, we ate it. —Nicholas Day

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds clams, scrubbed and purged (or the same of mussels)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 Thai chiles, halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 or 5 Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  1. In a large saucepan with a top, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the clams, rice wine, lime juice, fish sauce, and chiles, if using. Cover and steam for a couple more minutes, until the clams have opened up. Add the butter and basil and stir. Try the sauce, adding more lime juice or fish sauce to taste. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • NoraLuz
  • Miranda Tsang
    Miranda Tsang
  • hookmountaingrowers
  • kkelleycooks
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is nicholasday.net; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

4 Reviews

NoraLuz August 19, 2016
Mussels are very versatile
A source of minerals
Could pour over rice or 🍜
Really nice! I love the dimension that butter adds to this Southeast Asian dish. Did it with mussels. I'd increase the Thai basil many-fold.
kkelleycooks October 5, 2015
Sounds great - if I want to do over pasta, should I just double the sauce?
Miranda T. August 25, 2015
Made this tonight, and it was DELICIOUS. Had to use a little meyer lemon as well and I fearfully seeded the chiles, but nonetheless, sooo good. Need more than a baby baguette next time to sop up all those juices.