Italian food is the most popular foreign food in Korea, so there are many different Korean-style pasta dishes and recipes. “Fusion food”is a popular marketing term used in South Korea, but many visitors and foreigners in Korea complain that this actually means that it the food will be just a “Koreanized version” of different foods from around the world. Sweet pasta sauce, too much cream and pickles with every pasta dish are common complaints from visitors eating in Italian restaurants in South Korea. In Korea, the owner of restaurants must be Korean nationals, although some chefs and restaurant owners get around this by having native Korean business partners.
This pasta recipe is not authentic Italian since the spices are those found in the Korean kitchen. Koreans love spice and the freshest seafood possible, so the kochukaru and small, sweet clams are a nod to the Korean palate. But like Mediterranean cooking, this dish is light, fresh and highlights the flavors of the ocean.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- ¾ pound linguine or angel hair pasta
- 3 ounces bacon, cut into thin strips
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 30 small hard-shell clams, well-scrubbed
- 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 3 tsp water
- ½ cup finely choopped scallions
- 3 tsp sesame oil
- 3 tsp kochukaru (chili pepper powder)
- Cook pasta according to package directions in a pot of salted water.
- In a large, wide saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add bacon and onion.
- Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and reduce heat for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add soy sauce, sugar, chicken broth and clams.
- Cover and turn the heat to high, removing the clams as they open to a large bowl.*
- Add the diluted cornstarch, mixing well to combine.
- Add scallions, sesame oil, kochukaru and pasta.
- Remove from heat and toss well.
- Add clams and serve.
*Discard any clams that don't open.
Nutritional information about clams:
1. Clams are high in iron. So high, in fact, that t-bone steaks and beef liver don't compare. A three-ounce serving of cooked clams, or about nine small clams, has about 24 milligrams of iron. That's more iron than recommended each day for most adults (iron RDA is 18 milligrams per day for pre-menopausal women and eight milligrams per day for adult men and post-menopausal women.)
2. According to the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector, most clams have low levels of the contaminants found in some other fish and seafood species. If you're concerned about effects on the environment, softshell clams are rated "best" and wild clams are rated "OK" in terms of the environmental impact of clam production or fishing.
3. Clams contain about 140 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per 100 grams (about 3 1/2 ounces.) How does that compare with recommendations? There are no formal dietary recommendations for omega-3 intake, but studies have shown that 250 to 500 milligrams per day may be useful in achieving optimal heart health.
4. Clams have more protein than oysters and scallops, but roughly the same protein and fat content as chicken. There are major differences, however, in the nutrient profile of clams and chicken. Clams contain significantly more of most vitamins and minerals than chicken.Clam information excerpted from livestrong.com.