One of the best ways to understand the history of a region is to delve into the various culinary choices available there and learn as much as possible about the ingredients used and their origin.
Much of the Vietnamese food that guests enjoy today has been heavily influenced by French Indochina colonialism. French culinary traditions blended with the region’s own unique ingredients, creating entirely new tastes and textures.
One such example is Clam Wine Soup, a culinary delight half French and half Vietnamese.
FRENCH VIETNAMESE CLAM WINE SOUP
- 24 Taylor Manila Clams, washed and scrubbed
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups clam juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ponzu sauce
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 2 small fresh red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Vietnamese mint (rau ram)
- Place clams in a stockpot.
- Add garlic and pour wine over clams.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until clam shells are all open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Discard any shells that do not open.
- Strain broth into an 8-cup glass measuring cup.
- Add clam juice and enough water to make 6 cups.
- Pour liquid into pot with clams.
- Add green onions, fish sauce, sugar and Ponzu sauce.
- Return to a simmer.
- Remove clam meat from shells, reserving 4 clams in their shells as garnish.
- Discard other shells and return clam meat to pot.
- Remove soup from heat.
- Ladle into individual serving bowls.
- Garnish with cilantro, green onions, chilies, Vietnamese mint and the reserved clams.