Thai Steamed Clams
Thai Steamed Clams

A lot can happen in a year (a new job and a new house, to name a few) but one thing remains constant: Lemon Baby is and forever will be a labor of love–a love of seriously good food. This spring, I took a little hiatus from posting. Social media was easy to keep up with, but the process of cooking, styling, photographing, editing, and writing just wasn’t happening.

I was in a state of turmoil from all the changes occurring in our lives, and for the first time in my life, cooking seemed more of a chore than something I have always done for stress relief. Little kids are hell on dinnertime.

It seemed, amid all the screaming and clamoring for bottles of milk or “ice water” and snacks to keep them (and us) from losing their everloving minds, it was just easier to throw together a few grilled cheeses and plunk a few strawberries on their plates. And it was easier, in a way, except for the fact that I felt like I had lost a part of myself. A part that I had desperately missed. A part that last night, even when my son lost his mind when he “accidentally” blew out my candle and we wouldn’t let him relight it himself, I found.

I cooked, and then I actually took photographs of our meal before one of us dug in. The kids clamored per usual, but my sweet husband occupied them while I garnished and clicked and adjusted and clicked again. And it felt pretty great.

Not only did I cook a meal not involving butter, American cheese, and sandwich bread, but I also made an accompanying cocktail: a spicy-fresh combo of coconut water, vodka, and lime that complemented the flavors of the clams tremendously.

Thai bird chiles are extremely hot (as my poor husband found out before I had a chance to warn him). I advise only making a small sliver in the chile as opposed to slicing it and releasing all its fire. Normally I’d serve this cocktail in a martini glass. These Baccarat Optic wine glasses sufficed.

I have tried steaming clams in coconut milk before. None of the flavors came through. You need to simmer the ingredients together before adding the clams. You can hold the liquid at room temperature for an hour or two and then brought back up to simmer before adding the coconut milk. This makes prep a breeze for a dinner party. Crusty bread, crostini, or even naan or roti would be a welcome addition to soak up all the sumptuous juices.

The clams are tender, bursting with the heat of chiles, cooling coconut milk, tangy lime, and spicy, earthy ginger. We all loved this so much I wonder if it will replace our old French-style standby with white wine, lemon and tomatoes. I think we’ll all be happy if those and Coconut Milk Steamed Clams with Ginger and Lime are in regular rotation.

4.08 from 13 votes

Thai-Style Coconut Milk Steamed Clams with Ginger, Chile and Lime

The spiciness of Thai bird chiles and the richness of coconut milk are perfect foils to each other in this decadent rendition of steamed shellfish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 213 kcal
Author Amanda



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 pieces ginger root one inch, peeled and sliced
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 lemongrass peeled and smashed
  • 1 can coconut milk full fat
  • 2 pounds clams or a mix of clams and mussels, scrubbed
  • 2 Thai bird chiles sliced thinly, depending on your heat preferences
  • cilantro
  • green onions
  • basil
  • parsley
  • lime wedges



  1. In a large, shallow skillet or wok, heat olive oil. Sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken broth, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, chiles and bring to simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Add coconut milk and stir, season with salt to taste.
  5. Add clams and bring to high simmer. Cover, and cook until all clams have opened, about 5 minutes.

  6. Pour into bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro, green onions, chopped parsley, chopped basil, and lime wedges.
Nutrition Facts
Thai-Style Coconut Milk Steamed Clams with Ginger, Chile and Lime
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 669mg29%
Potassium 297mg8%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

It feels good to be back. Although I didn’t reach all my blogging goals for this year, I’m looking forward to the next. And what delicious things it will bring. Thanks for reading, all. Please don’t forget to leave a comment and/or use the handy sharing buttons to pin this recipe for later. It’s a keeper, I promise.

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