Hoi Pad Prik translates to Fried Clams with Roasted Chili Paste. I use the Mae Pranom brand of paste which I picked up in Thailand recently. It contains vegetable oil, dried shrimp, dried chili, onion, garlic, tamarind, sugar and salt. The paste can sometimes be labeled in English as 'Chili paste in soy bean oil'.
If you can't find it, don't fear! Up until I got hold of the Mae Pranom brand, I used a Chinese dried chili oil paste, which worked just as well and is easier to find.
It is really important though to cook the clams over a hot flame so I always use our portable gas cooker for this dish.
This recipe is so simple to make and literally takes only a couple of minutes to cook. Even on these colder days, it's fun to slurp up the clams, beer in hand, sauce on chin and pretend we're at the beach in Thailand.
Hoi Lai Pad Prik Recipe
30 manila clams
3 tbs of peanut oil
7-9 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5 red bird chili's, cut in half length-ways
2-3 tbs of Thai roasted chili paste
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of water
1.5 cups of Thai basil leaves
1 tbs of fish sauce
Special equipment: a wok
- Rinse the clams well and soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes.
- Add the peanut oil to the wok and swirl to coat. Heat over a medium flame.
- Add the garlic and chilis and fry for a few seconds. Next, add the roasted chili paste and 2 tbs of water. Add the sugar and stir mixture well.
- Next add, the clams and stir with a wooden spoon to coat in the mixture.
- Turn flame up high and stir fry for about a minute. Cover the clams with a large lid and reduce flame to a medium heat.
- Fry clams for about 20-30 seconds. Uncover and stir or shake the wok to ensure the chili mixture coats the clams.
- When the clams begin to open, uncover them and turn up the heat. Add the basil leaves and stir well.
- Once the clams are opened, remove from the heat. The clams generally take about 4 minutes or so to cook.
- Discard any clams that haven't opened.
- Serve clams with rice to soak up the delicious sauce.