This surf clam salad is based on a Laotian shrimp salad called Laap Goong (literally Shrimp Salad).
Clams are high in protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, which make them a great addition to your meals.
The biggest harvester and processor of Surf Clams is a Canadian company named Clearwater Seafoods based in Bedford Nova Scotia. Surf clams are sustainably harvested, and wild-caught off the East Coast of Canada. Even though it is a Canadian product, 98% of the catch gets sold to the Asian sushi-market.
In a bowl, juice the limes and add the salt, sugar, fish sauce and Green Chili Sauce. Stir and set aside.
While you can eat the surf clams whole, for better absorption of the dressing it is best to cut the clams in half.
From the Clearwater website:
"How do I prepare Clearwater Arctic Surf Clams?
1) Ensure clams are fully defrosted.
2) Cut clam straight through the middle (prime cut) resulting in two identical looking pieces of clam.
3) Once the clam is cut in half, remove any black material from the inside gut cavity and discard. Any yellow or beige coloured material should be left as it provides exceptional flavour to the clam."
Add the clams to the dressing, and marinade in the fridge for minimum of 1 hour. I prefer it prepared the day before, which is great if you are having company and want to make some of your dishes ahead of time. The clams will keep for one day in the fridge once thawed, so if you do decide to marinade overnight be sure not to save any leftovers.
Chop up the mint leaves and green onion. Set aside in the fridge.
If you don't have any toasted rice, now would be a good time to make some, You can follow our tutorial, here.
Toss the mint, green onion, and toasted rice together with the clam salad just before serving so that the herbs don't wilt and the rice remains crunchy. Add the rice a teaspoonful at a time, adjusting to taste. The toasted rice gives a sweet, nutty flavour to the salad. We use about one tablespoon (which is equal to three teaspoons)