Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Clam pasta - Asian style soybean



You see pasta and clams. So where does the soybean come from? Well, read on till you find out why this make a soybean Asian-style pasta. :)

Soybeans are ubiquitous in Asian foods. Tofu, soy milk, fermented bean pastes, tempeh and soy sauce are an integral part of Asian cooking. The Chinese, Koreans and Japanese have developed their own styles and processes (different fermentation time, amount of salt or the type of grains added etc.) for fermenting soybeans to get different end-products such as Japan's misos, tempeh and taucheo from Southeast Asia, Korea's toenjang -- all with distinct flavors and colors. Soybeans is a major ingredient in Szechuan sauces and marinades, as well as Southeast Asian soups, sambals, stir-fries and braising.

Can you see it? Can you see bits of yellow soybeans in the pasta? I have used taucheo - a salted fermented soy bean - a yellow soybean paste to uplift the flavors of this dish. Not that the clams are tasteless, where in fact they are full of unami. But in some Asian cooking, sauces can enhance the flavors of your ingredients(提 鲜) and make the ingredients stand out even more.

Taucheo is used prominently in stir-fry dishes, and braising. This bean sauce is used throughout East and Southeast Asia to season vegetables, noodles and fish. It is usually added whole to recipes, or pounded before use.



Clam Spaghetti in Bean Sauce
Ingredients:
-1tsp taucheo (preserved/fermented soy beans)
-2tsp crushed ginger
-2cloves garlic, minced
-2tsp sambal belacan
-water
-green onions
-1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked to al-dente, set aside

Directions:
1. Stir fry ginger and garlic at medium heat till fragrant
2. Add tauceho and sambal, and mix well. Add in 2tbsp water so that the paste mixture does not dry up
3. Add in clams to simmer and when the shells open up, add in green onions
4. When ready to serve, add in the pasta, mix well and serve immediately

This dish is a total savory enjoyment - the sauce and the fresh clams, they are IT!

Tune into Ruth's Presto Pasta Night for more scrumptious noodles and pasta dishes in the round-up!


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