Ahhhh, lala, one of Malaysia’s favorite seafood. These shellfish can be had at seafood restaurants, tai chao (big fry) places, and even some of the roadside hawkers. Today, we’re going to look into one of the simplest ways of cooking your own lala dish that’s yummy and carries a kick. This is my recipe of fried lala with cilipadi.
For this version I used live white clams, but you can replace it with your favorite versions of other clams that we usually refer to as “lala” as well. The recipe takes less than 5 mins to prepare, and another 10 minutes max to cook. Here we go:
lala, spring onion, garlic, cilipadi
1kg lala, live would be better
2 stalks of spring onion, chopped
7-8 cilipadi, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 caps of shaoxing rice wine (optional)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
heat up cooking oil in frying pan
fry garlic until fragrant, then add lala
add cilipadi, stir for a minute, add sugar, salt, and pepper
add two caps of shaoxing cooking rice wine
cover frying pan to allow steaming action, occasionally open to stir
lala is cooked when the shells are opened
sprinkle those spring onion while serving
fried lala with cilipadi
The result is a plate of lala with some juice at the bottom that retains most of the seafood natural sweetness, but with added kick from cilipadi and additional dimension from rice wine. Enjoy and happy cooking!
While doing grocery yesterday, I spotted some big and juicy looking shellfish available, and immediately reminded myself of those delicious steamed lala in New Boston Restaurant, a dish that I missed in terms of taste, but not so much in terms of wait time..
So naturally, I decided to get me some of those lala and attempt to recreate the same dish at home. I think I came pretty close, so here’s the recipe to share with everyone.
steamed lala as inspired by New Boston restaurant, Klang
lala – soak them in salt water for at least 1/2 hour to reduce chances of hanging sand/mud
ginger, julienne, as much as you want, old & hot= better
garlic, half a bulb, chopped finely
chili padi – chopped
Chinese rice wine
garlic, ginger, and cilipadi are crucial
fry garlic with oil until golden, set aside
steamed lala with ginger, cilipadi, and a couple tablespoon of Chinese rice wine
steamed only until shellfish are opened, this only takes a couple minutes or so
put fried garlic on top, add a bit of salt if preferred
served while hot!
The result turns out pretty well, could perhaps improved with better quality of Chinese rice wine, but so long as the seafood is fresh, results won’t be disappointing. Try it!
Drunken lala is a dish that I sorta invented by taking the ideas from drunken prawns and a clam with white wine dish that I had from The Apartment (first introduced by Suan).
I use a small pot to in order to have a steaming effect by closing the lid, as well as be able to retain the Chinese wine as the juice to go with rice. The “sauce” turned out pretty good, it has strong rice wine and seafood flavor as well as a hint of spiciness from chili padi.
The key to this dish is the freshness of lala, I would recommend that you get them from morning market and cook them the very same night. Overnight lala isn’t generally a good thing to consume.
ingredients for drunken lala
Anyway, here are the ingredients:
at least half a kilo of lala, preferably large size
ginger – slices
half a bulb of garlic – peeled
spring onion – cut into 1.5 inches
6-8 chili padi – whole
a cup of Chinese cooking wine
pepper and salt to taste
2 table spoon of cooking oil
use a small pot to retain more moisture
The instructions are very simple and straight forward, the key is to use a small pot and never a nonstick frying pan lest you want to lose the layer of nonstick teflon.
heat up cooking oil, and fry ginger and garlic till fragrant
add lala and fry it till most of them are opened
add cooking wine and bring to boil
add chili padi and spring onion, then close lid for 5 minutes
add salt and pepper to taste
serve while hot
drunken lala with chili padi & spring onion
And there you go, I paid some RM 15 for these fresh lala at the morning market, but prices are seasonal so your mileage may vary.