Surf clams with black pepper sauce

Surf clams with black pepper sauce

Ben's BBQ Bible
Billy Law

Diamond shell clams are very similar to pippies, vongole or English cockles. The diamond shell surf clams I use come from NZ and are an internationally recognised sustainable flshery off the South Island in Cloudy Bay (where great wine also comes from). They are sweet and tender and well worth trying. Diamond shell clams are available in vacuum-pack bags from most good fish mongers. All you need to do is cut the bag open and off you go! No cleaning required.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg surf clams, (I use diamond shell clams from New Zealand)
chopped greens of 3 spring onions
1 loose cup coriander leaves
steamed rice, to serve

Black pepper sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/4 cup curry leaves
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 long red chilli, chopped
chopped whites of 3 spring onions
2 tablespoons kecap manis
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
250ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons cornflour
80ml water
50g butter
2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Prepare your at barbecue plate for direct cooking over a high heat.
  2. Next, make the sauce, as the clams will only take seconds to cook.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Firstly fry the curry leaves for 1–2 minutes, until fragrant, then add the ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli and the spring onion whites. Fry gently for a minute.
  4. Combine the kecap manis, oyster sauce, soy sauce and stock, then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Combine the cornour and water to make a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in enough of the cornour paste into the sauce until it is thick and coats the back of a spoon — you may not need it all.
  6. Finally, whisk in the butter. Add the pepper and keep warm until needed.
  7. Place the clams directly onto the hot barbecue griddle plate and place a heatproof bowl over the top to steam them. Cook for just a minute or two, until the clams open up. Once cooked, scoop up the clams and place them in a bowl.
  8. Pour the warm sauce all over the clams. Garnish with the spring onion greens and coriander. Serve straight away, with steamed rice.
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