Kam Heong Clams

Kam Heong Clams

I have an excess of curry leaves and decided to stir fry lala clams kam heong style – a popular Malaysian stir-fry sauce. Kam heong (金香) is Cantonese dialect and literally translate as “golden fragrance”. The spice blend includes dried shrimps, curry powder, shallots and garlic. This sauce is frequently used to stir fry prawns, crabs, chicken and in this recipe, lala clams. The aroma of the curry powder and curry leaves really stand out in this dish. I literally lick the sauce off the shells, so good.

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Local "lala" clams

Local ‘lala’ clams are inexpensive (I paid about $3 for 1kg) and fast to cook (about 2-3 minutes), so it’s really economical to cook this at home as compared to ordering it outside.

Kam Heong Clams

Kam Heong (Golden Fragrance) Clams Recipe

Kam heong (金香) is Cantonese dialect and literally translate as “golden fragrance”. The aromatic spice blend is popularly used to stir fry crabs, chicken, clams and in this recipe, prawns. The aroma of the curry powder and curry leaves totally stands out in this dish.


  • 1 kg clams such as lala clams, manilla clams or asari clams
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimps (虾米/hay bee/heibi)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 shallots finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 ginger slices minced
  • 2 chilli padi (bird’s eye chili) sliced thinly; to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp taucheo (soy bean paste/豆酱) slightly pounded
  • 4 sprigs curry leaves
  • cornstarch solution dissolve 1 tsp cornstarch in 2 tsp water


  1. Scrub clams thoroughly with a hard brush. Soak the clams in salted water for at least an hour for the clams to purge out sand and impurities. Drain the water, rinse the clams and set aside.
  2. Rinse dried shrimps in water, then soak them in 1/4 cup hot water until softened. Pat dry the dried shrimps on kitchen towels and chop finely. Combine soaking water with curry powder to form a paste.
  3. Heat cooking oil in wok. Stir fry chopped dried shrimps for 1 minute. Then add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chilli, taucheo and curry leaves. Stir fry until fragrant.
  4. Add washed clams and curry paste prepared in step 2 to the wok. Stir fry for a brief moment to coat the clams in the sauce, then cover with lid to let the clams steam for about 2 minutes, until all or most of the shells are opened. Discard any shells that remain closed. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch solution.

Noob Cook Tips

  1. Do not overcook the clams, other wise they will taste rubbery/chewy.
  2. If you do not have taucheo, you can substitute to taste with some light soy sauce.