Contains: Coconut, shellfish, nightshades. Is: Dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, Whole30, a play on New England clam chowder.
I went down to the local Mom and Pop grocery, hoping on a lark to find scallops (and a couple other things, considering we’re semi-shutting down commerce in the area due to the beer-named virus of recent impact – which meant I really didn’t expect to see scallops). No, there weren’t any , but there were chopped clams in liquid, that I decided might fulfill my seafood jones, and which I could use to the food challenge on Cookingbites.com this round. I was surprised to see these chopped clam-bit morsels… but who can resist, especially a seafood lover such as myself?
Hmm, the challenge involved coconut – I do have another entry upcoming, but we have unlimited entry potential if one discounts personal time available to make things. Okay, let’s make a play on the standard New England Clam Chowder, but let’s make one that the lactose intolerant and the dairy-sensitive can eat and enjoy, assuming of course that coconut is potentially on their dietary plates? This is even gluten-free. And since I am already ditching the dairy for this (rendering this NOT a true New England clam chowdah), I’m going to modify the flavor profile somewhat.
I have bacon (my brother sends me some) but as I was not certain where in the freezer it was, I went with uncured belly strips from the pork farm share. Not quite the same, but this is not a true New England variant anyway. Considering the coconut.
Obviously in these times today, if you can’t find, say, za’atar, punt and do as you wish to make this (or any other) recipe work the way you can. It will all be good.
Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Rest Time: no.
Cuisine: A mish mash of New England and Asian. So, who knows?
Coconut Clam Chowder
- Pork belly strips, about 4 ounces, coarsely chopped. Thick cut is best.
- 1/3 teaspoon salt.
- 120 grams of chopped white or yellow onion.
- 8 ounces chopped potato – a yellow variety is best. Peel or not as you choose. If you use a thick skinned potato such as the Russet, do remove the skin.
- 2/3 cup of the water the potatoes were cooked in.
- 1 can coconut milk, whole fat (13.5 oz / 400 mL)
- 300 grams of fresh (or canned) previously chopped clams, with their liquid.
- 1/4 teaspoon za’atar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon rogan josh
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt.
- Lime wedges for garnish, cilantro/coriander leaves if handy.
Cook the pork belly with salt in a fry pan, about eight minutes. I used Chicharron salt but regular is fine. Let them get a little crispy. You do not need to add oil.
Add the onions, and cook another ten minutes, stirring as needed. Onions should be a little brown, but definitely translucent.
In a separate pot, boil the potatoes in water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and chop them down to about 1/4 inch segments or so. Add them to the pork belly/onions. Reserve the potato cooking water.
In the soup pot, add the coconut milk, the reserved potato cooking water, and all the herbs/spices. Bring to a boil then reduce to a moderate simmer. Add the clams and their juices. Allow to meld and simmer for five more minutes, taste and sample the broth for seasonings, adjusting as desired.
Serve in soup bowls, with lime wedges that folks can optionally add to the soup. And with that optional cilantro.