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Jenn Louis' Clams with Chilis and Shiso Butter

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Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entrée

For the clams 

¼ c olive oil
A few slices of fresh hot chilies
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon preserved lemon, chopped finely
½ cup  white wine
1 cup fish stock
1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce, 40N
4 tablespoon shiso butter, recipe below
2 pounds manila clams
½ cup fregola or small pasta, cooked

For the shiso butter

½ ounce fresh shiso leaves
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons maldon salt
1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce, 40N
1 tablespoon ground cayenne


For the shiso butter:

1. Blanch shiso leaves in a small pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and run under cool water. When leaves are cool, wring out water and form a ball with leaves. Cut ball into 5 strips.

2. In a food processor combine butter and shiso. Blend in processor, scraping down sides, until well combined. Add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly.

3. Roll compound butter in plastic or parchment, forming a log. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

For the clams: 

1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat warm oil.

2. Add chilies, lemon and garlic and cook just until garlic is cooked, but not browned.

3. Add white wine and cook until reduced by ¾. Add fish stock, fish sauce, butter and clams and cook until clams open.

4. Stir in fregola and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve with wedges of crusty artisan bread


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