During the latter half of October, I had major cravings for simple, soothing Taiwanese soup. This also coincided with me getting sick. I either wanted some ginger clam soup, or what my mom always called “Strong Soup,” which is basically a clear broth made from simmering a whole chicken in water, ginger and some type of Chinese herb (my mom did not know the English name, so I was at a loss for the key ingredient). I hope to pick some up when I go home for Thanksgiving. So, clam soup it was.
I headed to Chinatown for my groceries, and came back with the biggest ever piece of ginger, beautiful manila clams (hard to locate in Western stores) and some winter melon. I’ve made this soup with other clams from both Whole Foods and the Lobster Place, and each time the clams just don’t taste quite delicate enough, and there’s always way too much sand (even after soaking). So, this time I would only settle on clams from Chinatown, just like my mom.
Ginger Clam Soup
1 lb winter melon
1 lb clams
1 tbsp shredded ginger
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cooking wine
1. Soak clams in salt water and a little bit of corn meal to remove sand.
2. Strip off winter melon, remove seeds and dice.
3. Pour water to cover winter melon and cook until soft. When water boils, add clams, shredded ginger and salt. Once clams open, turn off the fire, pour cooking wine and serve.