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What did I just eat?


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I just got back from dinner at Tamarind Tree, where I had the "Baby Clams Rice Cracker" (from the menu: "baby clams marinated with onions, garlic, chili pepper, fresh herbs, and roasted peanuts served with black sesame rice cracker and fresh pineapple anchovy sauce").

This was the first time I've ever seen such infinitesimally small clams and I'm wondering what they were. They were about the size of the tiny black beluga lentils. There had to have been well over a thousand in just my dish. How in the world are they shelled? And where could I buy them?

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I've seen pictures of people eating tiny, tiny clams and picking the entire meat out with the tip a toothpick. The size would be about what you describe. My Chinese friend says that little clams like this come from the South China sea near Vietnam and are usually just picked out and eaten raw. You can find them in Guangzhou too, but I think they are more of a Vietnamese ting.

The amount of work it would take to clean a thousand of these would seem to make cooking with them impractical. I would love to know what these were. Did you think of calling the restaurant and asking?

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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there was this tiny clam we used to pick up on the beach on the west coast of Florida they were called "Cocina's" pronounced coke keen as

anyway they were itty bitty the size of lentils when cooked .the shells were all differient colors and as the waves went out you could just pick them up...I think they sound like what you ate ..or similar ..I did a search and could not find anything but regular clams ..maybe someone knows another name for these?

anyway we would boil them and the tiny things would float free from shells with very little stirring ...they were very nice tasting ..so was the broth ...I think to mass produce them you just need to boil them hard to separate them from the shell and strain them off ..but that is just my uneducated guess...

I wish I knew what the real name for them was

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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  • 2 weeks later...

^ That sounds like it! The cooking method is the only thing that makes sense, too. Googling around, I found a few references to "cochina" clams (also learned some Spanish slang :blink:) but couldn't find any pictures to confirm.

They definitely weren't chopped up--I looked to be sure. They were just teeny-teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy little clams.

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^ That sounds like it! The cooking method is the only thing that makes sense, too. Googling around, I found a few references to "cochina" clams (also learned some Spanish slang  :blink:) but couldn't find any pictures to confirm.

They definitely weren't chopped up--I looked to be sure. They were just teeny-teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy little clams.

I wonder if I asked the Florida thread if they would know what those little things are called besides "cochina" they are just little tiny dots of clams that are no bigger than a lentil and very tasty

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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