The lala shellfish is also a versatile ingredient. It can be steamed, baked or made into a soup. It can be stir fried with a variety of sauces for different flavours. The meat is juicy, tender and chewy at the same time.
In this recipe, it is stir fried with a chilli paste.
The lala shellfish lives in shallow sand along the beach. It is inevtable that there will be sand or sediment in the shellfish.
I parboil them first to get rid of the sea smell and also to pick out any dead ones. One dead lala can ruin the whole dish. Scrub the shells. In a pot of boiling water, add a few drops of vinegar or rice wine and toss in the lala. The shells will pop open within 2 minutes. Take them out and rinse them. They are ready for the stir fry.
I use 700 grams of shellfish, about 40 pieces at $3.50 a kg, enough for big plate.
Blend ingredients for the chilli paste:
10 pieces of dried chillies, cut into smaller pieces
1 tomato diced.
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 cm of ginger, cut
5 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 stalked of lemon grass, bruised and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon of salted soya bean paste for the salt.
Additional ingredients are 2 tablespoon of oil and one egg. Now we are ready for the stir fry.
Heat the oil in a wok or pan till hot.
Toss in the chilli paste stir fry till fragrant.
Toss in the lala shellfish and stir thoroughly
The lala are already half cooked, so it takes about 2 minutes to cook them.
Add the egg and stir fry for one more minute and it is done.
Here is a nice 8 minute video showing how to cook the lala shellfish. The ingredients used here are also suitable for cooking the Singapore Chilli Crab.
One of my favourites is to cook the lala shellfish with noodles and vegetables as a one dish meal.
A 9 minute video on clams with wine and linguine
Lala or clams go very well with basil. Always safer to parboil them and pick out any dead clams.