Spicy seafood salad (Yum Talay)

Serves: 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entrée

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Do-ahead Tips: Make the dressing without the clam juice in advance and store in the fridge

The salad:

1 lbLive clamsWater As needed3 Tbsp Lemongrass, sliced into rounds9 oz Seafood mix choice: shrimp, squid, etc.1/2 cup    Thai basil leaves, chopped1/4 cup    Shallots, thinly julienned1/2 cup Grape tomatoes, halved1–2  Green onions, chopped1/4 cup Cilantro, choppedFor serving  Jasmine rice

The dressing:

1–3Thai chilies, finely minced3 cloves  Garlic, finely minced or grated3 Tbsp Lime juice2 Tbsp Fish sauce2 1/2 Tbsp Thai chili paste (nam prik

Directions:

Make the dressing by stirring all the dressing ingredients together  in a bowl; set aside.

Wash the clams in cold water and discard any that are broken or will not close their shells when tapped. If you are using wild clams, there may be sand inside the shells, but farm-raised clams usually don’t have this problem. To get the clams to spit out sand, feel free to use your favourite method, but I like to soak them in cold water with salt for 30 minutes to an hour. After the clams have released the sand, rinse them again in cold water.

In a pot just big enough  to hold the clams, add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the lemongrass and clams, then cover and cook for 1–2 minutes until the clams open. Remove from the heat and transfer  the clams into a large mixing bowl, leaving the cooking water in the pot (it’s fine if some of the lemongrass comes along

with the clams). If some of the clams did not open, return  them to the pot, cover, and cook them for another minute or so—some clams are just late bloomers! Discard any that still won’t open after the second  cooking.

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