Ming made a number of dishes from his new cookbook, Simply Ming One-Pot Meals, but my favorite was his demonstration of a dish called Clams, Pork, and Jicama, in which he offered up a number of helpful tips that I wasn't familiar with. Follow these bivalve suggestions next time you cook at home, and you'll be happy as a clam. To see them, keep reading.
- Clams and pork make a killer surf-and-turf combination. "If you don't eat pork, convert!" he exclaimed.
- Before using clams, be sure to purge them. Here's how you do it: Soak clams in water with a few spoonfuls of cornmeal. Allow them to soak for three hours. The cornmeal will pull all the sand from the clams so they're clean and ready to use.
- Smell your shells. This will tell you immediately whether or not they're fresh. It's crucial when eating other shellfish, like oysters, in the raw.
- Add a drop or two of honey. Just a bit of honey will bring out the sweetness of the shellfish.
- In a rush? Hurry clams along. In a pinch, pry clam shells open to help them cook faster.
- Don't worry about your clams being undercooked. When they're ready, they'll open. Plus, all shellfish should be fresh enough to theoretically be eaten raw anyway.
- Sprinkle clams with avocado to finish. "Avocado is nature's best fat that's not pork," Ming said. "I love it with everything."
Share your home-cooked clam stories below. Are Ming's suggestions new to you?