This isn't an entirely original craving. We'd had an amazing razor clam/scallion dish at the in-decline Mandarin Kitchen in Bayswater on our London Trip a couple of months before. But for some reason, I suddenly became singularly obsessed with making a David Chang-style ginger-scallion sauce and topping some long bivalves with it.
|Alive with pleasure. Squirming, pulsating pleasure.|
We spotted a couple of small bundles of 'em at a fish stand in the Marché du Président Wilson in the posh 16th, but by the time we circled around to get them on our way out (it was a hot day, which doesn't mix with public transit and seafood) they were gone! Oh well, at least we'd picked up some beautiful, funky heirloom carrot varieties from Joël Thiebault, who has made a career out of raising gorgeous vegetables... and selling their "throwaway" parts to suckers at a premium. (Hey, Joël! Poor people have been eating turnip and beet greens forever!)
Luck turned up at Paris' tertiary Chinatown (in the 3rd arrondissement), where we were able to pick up a massive bundle of Ensis directus for about half the price of what we missed out on in the 16th. Checking 'em out, they were cold, fresh, alive, and – most importantly – plucked from the nearby North Sea, not shipped from halfway around the world as one might suspect in the Asian markets. Score!
Next up: Making a ginger-scallion sauce.
I've heard so many raves about David Chang's sauce as featured in the Momofuku cookbook, which I had picked up back when it came out at our favorite English-language bookstore in town. (Hint: It's not fucking WH Smith or Brentano's. Fuck them with a dusty old hardcover inserted diagonally.) But I'd never bothered to look at the recipe. In fact, I only got the book because it's good reading, and Alannah and I get giggles out of Chang's fuck-you attitude to the ruling food establishment.
The formula is dead simple: Ginger, scallions, oil, sherry vinegar, soy sauce, salt.
|Ginger-Scallion sauce.. the Ramped up version. Har har.|
The sauce was poured over some cleaned, opened razor clams and placed under a super-hot broiler for just a couple of minutes...
|Lap up the juices on these hot, vertical clams|
|It's as if scallops and lobster mated and put tubular|
babies on top of veggies
There was also some more posh-16th-arrondissement market booty to be plundered, so we gently steamed some shimeji mushrooms, laid 'em on top of a bed of shredded steamed chicken... Topped off with more of the ginger-scallion-ramp sauce, of course.