Last week, I needed a bottle with a long neck which I used for a mini project. Since Indonesia bans alcohol right now (not entirely, but most shops don’t carry alcohol anymore), my ideal Budweiser bottle can’t be had. In lieu of the beer bottle, I bought a ginger ale instead because of the similar bottle shape. I forgot the name but it was supposed to be Australian and it’s supposed to be bitter.

I don’t normally drink sugary stuff but I had to use this ginger ale in some form, so as not to waste it. Since I bought clams earlier that day and a lot of ginger, and the Filipino penchant of using sugary drinks as sauces/marinade (Sprite Prawns, anyone?) I used it as a base of the sauce for my seafood pasta.

The ginger ale worked! It gave the perfect balance of sweet, tangy and bitterness and of course the clams – fresh from the sea – worked its fresh, salty magic on my taste buds. It tasted like Nissin Cup Noodle’s Seafood Pasta, which, in my dictionary, is awesome.

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It didn’t take long to cook, especially with the clams. The rule is to cook the clams immediately after buying it, and don’t overcook it by letting stay too long in the heat. Once the shell opens up, it’s cooked. Mayve let it simmer for a minute but not for long lest you have a tough meat. This dish doesn’t take long to cook. If you have the pasta prepared, it will only take 8 minutes tops to make, so if you have guests in a jiffy, this seafood ginger ale pasta is a sure help.

What you need:

  • 1/2 kg clams (kerang in Indonesian)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 bottle (275 ml) ginger ale
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 200 g spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • chili flakes

What to do:

1. Saute the garlic and ginger together in coconut oil. Add the ginger ale when the spices become brown and fragrant. Simmer for about 3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add the clams. When the first shellfish opens, add the pasta. Mix and toss thoroughly (should be fun) until all the shells have opened up.

3. Remove from heat and put on a plate. Sprinkle with chili flakes. Serve.

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