When Michael Mina was looking for a chef for the soon-to-open Japanese-inspired restaurant PABU in Baltimore, he knew where his search would start and end: at one of his family's favorite Japanese spots, Hana Japanese Restaurant. The East-West collaboration between Mina and Hana chef Ken Tominaga brings Baltimore a taste of izakaya-style dining and flavor-forward small plates such as these superfast sake-steamed clams. Tominaga boosts the clams' natural salinity with sake and soy sauce and adds butter and garlic for instant depth.
Asari Sakamushi (Steamed Clams with Soy, Butter and Garlic)
Recipe adapted from Ken Tominaga, PABU, Baltimore, MD
Yield: 2 main-course or 4 appetizer-size servings
Cook Time: 8 minutes
2 cups dry sake
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30 clams (preferably Manila or short-necked), scrubbed clean under cold running water
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1. In a large, deep skillet set over medium-high heat, combine the sake and garlic. Add the clams, cover with a lid and simmer until clams open, about 5 minutes.
2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the clams to a large bowl and set aside. Bring the liquid in the skillet to a simmer, add the butter, soy sauce and lemon juice and whisk until the butter is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the clams, sprinkle with scallions and serve.