It is a great time of year for shellfish and here clams and crab combine with chorizo and potato in a warming seafood chowder.
Crab and clam chowder with chorizo
1 kg clams, scrubbed
100 ml dry white wine
600 ml chicken or fish stock
25 g butter
150 g chorizo, sliced
1 onion chopped finely
1 stick celery, sliced
250 g potatoes, peeled and diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
600 ml milk
250 g cooked crabmeat
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
single cream, to serve (optional)
Rinse the clams, shake well and then place in a saucepan with the wine. Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 5 minutes until all the shells have opened. Strain the liquid into jug and add the stock (discard any clams that remain closed).
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the chorizo and stir-fry over a medium heat for 5minutes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onion, celery and potato to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the stock, thyme, bay leaf and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Stir in the milk, crabmeat, clams and the chorizo and heat through for 5 minutes without boiling until everything is heated through. Serve in bowls with chopped parsley and the cream, if wished.
For my final slurp I wanted to share two more recipes from my book, Oodles of Noodles. Deciding which recipes to choose was quite hard, but in the end I have opted to blog a recipe from the remaining chapters in order to give you a good balance of just what to expect from the book. So we have a pretty, Japanese-inspired noodle salad with shredded chicken, fresh cool vegetables and a traditional sesame dressing. It is an explosion of textures and flavours and the overall impression you get with the first mouthful is one of freshness and well being; perfect for a light lunch.
In contrast my second choice is a far punchier and full-on crab noodle stir-fry. I love this recipe with it’s robust sweet, hot sauce, big chunks of delicious fresh cooked crab and wonderfully slippery egg noodles. It really is worth sourcing a good seafood supplier so the fresher the crab the better. If you don’t fancy preparing the crab yourself most fishmongers will happily do this for you and as long as you keep the crab well chilled and cook the dish the same day, the crab will be fine.
Let me know how you go, I’d love to get some feedback.
Chicken noodle salad with sesame and soy dressing
Photo Ian Wallace
This summer salad can be made using any Japanese noodles. When researching this book I came across these black rice noodles, which make a startling contrast to the different vegetables and micro herbs. The end result is striking.
250 g dried black rice noodles
250 g cooked chicken breast fillet
100 g radishes, trimmed
2 carrots, trimmed
125 g mange tout, trimmed
1/2 cucumber, seeded
Japanese micro herbs
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dashi stock (see recipe page)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated root ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Make wafu dressing
Place all the dressing ingredients in a screw top jar and shake well until amalgamated. Use as required.
Plunge the noodles into a large saucepan of boiling water. Return to the boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes until al dente. Drain noodles and immediately refresh under cold water, washing well to remove any remaining starch. Drain again and dry thoroughly on a clean tea towel. Place noodles in a large bowl.
Shred the chicken into pieces and add to the noodles. Prepare the vegetables. Thinly slice the radishes, thinly slice and then shred the carrot into strips, thinly shred the mange tout. Cut the cucumber into thin batons.
Arrange all the ingredients on a plate, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well together. Scatter over micro herbs and sesame seeds. Serve at once.
Crab and noodle stir-fry (Malaysia)
Photo Ian Wallace
This Malay version of Singapore crab was served to me on a trip to a small island, rather unattractively named Mud Island. However where there’s mud there are mud crabs and this tiny island on stilts, just off the west coast of Malaysia, is home to thousands of crabs and almost as many restaurants serving delicious platefuls of crab any which way. This was my choice and it was awesome.
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
3 cm piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 small red bird’s eye chillies
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
50 ml Shoaxing rice wine
250 ml tomato passata
250 ml chicken stock
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoons ketchup manis
1 kg fresh crab, prepared (see tip)
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
400 g fresh egg noodles, or 200 g dried
shredded spring onions, to garnish
Place the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a blender and puree to make a smooth paste, stir in the shrimp paste. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the paste for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the rice wine and simmer for 1 minute then stir in the passata, stock, soy sauce and ketchup manis and cook for 10 minutes until thickened.
Add the prepared crab and spring onion, stir well, cover the pan and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the crab is cooked through. Meanwhile, plunge the noodles into a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes until al dente. Drain the noodles, shake well to remove excess water and transfer to a large platter. Spoon the crab sauce over the top and serve sprinkled with extra spring onions.
Tip: Its best to use a live crab for this, so ask your fishmonger to kill the crab for you and if possible to cut the crab up ready to stir-fry. Alternatively view the process online to see how to do it yourself. If you can’t face this use 1 kg cooked crab claws, cracking the shells with a hammer and continue as above