Garlic & Ginger Clams (上汤蛤俐)

This clam dish is one of my favorite as a child growing up in Malaysia.  I was a little homesick, so decided to make this to curb my homesickness plus it’s perfect for a cold winter day to slurp up the clams and its delicious broth. The original recipes would called for some Thai chilies to give it a kick, but I modified it so that my young tot can enjoy it as well.

This is the first time my baby tried clams, she wasn’t a fan but did eat a few and was more fascinated by the shells than its flesh. She does however, enjoy the broth very much when it is mixed in with her rice. Hope you all enjoy it !

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Serves : 2 servings,   Each Serving : 108 calories  11 gm protein.

Ingredients: 

2/3 pounds Manilla Clams
One 2 inches thick ginger – thinly sliced (you can used more or less depending on your taste)
6 cloves of garlic – chopped
1/4 cup White Wine or Rice Wine
2 cups Water
1 stalk green onion – chopped small
1 tablespoon of red peppers – diced small for garnish
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Dash of white pepper powder

Salt or soy sauce to taste (Optional – I didn’t use it at all)

Instructions

  1. Wash and brush clams slightly and then soak them in salt water solutions ( 4 cups water  + 1 teaspoon of salt ) for 20 minutes. Drain clams using a strainer and set aside.
  2. Heat up cooking oil in a wok or large skillet (12 inches), add in garlic and ginger, stir fry until smell the fragrant (about 15-20 seconds).
  3. Add in all the clams and stir fry for about 30 seconds, add in the white wine/rice wine, continue to stir the content for about one minute. Add in all the water and cover the wok or skillet and let the content come to a boil (about 3 minutes).
  4. Open the lid and check the status of the clams, it should have open slightly. Stir the content couple times so that the heat is evenly distributed.  Cover the pot again and let it simmer for about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Make sure all the clams are open. Tossed the one that didn’t. Finally add in a dash of white pepper powder, diced red peppers and chopped onions. Dish up and serve immediately.

 

What Not to Eat During Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

“Now what can I eat?” you ask.

There are a lot of things you have to be careful about, especially since the food you eat directly affects the outcome of your pregnancy. My advice is to think to yourself, “Would I feed a baby that?” If the answer is “no,” then don’t eat it while you are pregnant.

Let’s review the “Don’t” List:

Stop Smoking / Using Illicit Drugs
This seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many babies have mothers who are smokers and drug users. If you can’t quit these activities, knowing you are pregnant, it’s time to seek professional help. You are exposing your unborn baby to toxic chemicals and restricting their intake of valuable nutrients needed for fetal development.

Say “No” to Alcohol
Alcohol is rapidly absorbed in the bloodstream and can cross the placenta to affect the baby. Baby’s liver is not capable of breaking down alcohol, increasing the risk for a miscarriage, preterm labor, and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), an alcohol spectrum disorder that can lead to growth problems, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and deformed facial features.  The research on occasional, light alcohol intake (one to two drinks per week) during pregnancy remains very limited. Though no serious side effects have been reported, it’s always good to play it safe. Alcohol  used for culinary purposes (cooking wine or sherry, shaoxing wine, or rice wine) is relatively safe at this time.

Avoid Raw / Undercooked Fish and Raw Shellfish
It’s advised to avoid all raw seafood products, if possible, due to potential viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. This includes sushi, raw oysters, and all other undercooked seafood or shellfish. There’s some controversy about eating sushi during pregnancy as most Japanese women still eat it during their pregnancy and no adverse side effects have been reported. However, eating any raw food products always poses a risk, and therefore you should be extra cautious during pregnancy.

Avoid High Mercury Fish
Mercury can cause birth defects and the larger the fish (especially the predatory type), the higher mercury levels it contains. If you regularly consume fish with high mercury level, excess mercury will accumulate in your blood stream and cross over to your baby, causing damage to their brain and nervous system. Fish high in mercury include swordfish, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, king mackerel, and shark. It’s still safe to eat other types of fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, cod, pollack, Atlantic or Pacific mackerel and catfish. Tuna should only be eaten in moderation, about three ounces per week.

Stay Away from Cold Cuts
Deli meats have long been known to be contaminated with a bacteria called Listeria. Listeria has been linked to miscarriage and can cause serious blood poisoning and infection. Since Listeria can cross the placenta, it will threaten the safety of your baby. The bacteria can be killed through heat, so if you still want to eat deli meat during pregnancy, be sure to heat the meat until it’s steaming.

Say “Bye-Bye” to Soft Cheeses
Soft cheeses (especially imported ones) may also contain Listeria because of unpasteurized milk. Unless it’s clearly stated the cheese is made from pasteurized milk, it’s best to avoid it altogether. This includes: Brie, feta, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Chaource, Limburger, and Paglietta.

Be Mindful About Kelp Usage
Kelp is a type of seaweed that’s used in many Asian cultures for soups and stews. It is high in iron and very high in iodine. Routine consumption of kelp during pregnancy can lead to congenital hypothyroidism (a type of thyroid disease) that can contribute to cognitive delays and growth retardation. One to two tablespoons of kelp can contain as much as 1,500-2,000 micrograms (mcg) of iodine. The upper tolerable  limit set by the National Institute of Health is 1,100 mcg for adults. Nori, the most common seaweed wrap used in sushi, or seaweed sheet snacks are safer alternatives (e.g. the sheet snacks only contain about 280-300 mcg of iodine per pack).

Beware of Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Herbs are widely used to make tonics and teas and found in supplement form. The safety of herbal use during pregnancy still largely unknown. American Pregnancy Association has published a list of unsafe and likely unsafe herbs for pregnancy. They include: Rosemary (in medicinal doses), saw palmetto, goldenseal, blue cohosh, black cohosh, dong quai, ephedra, and yohimbe.

Don’t go Overboard with Caffeine
Caffeine has been associated with miscarriage, especially during the first trimester. So coffee and black tea drinkers take note and limit your daily intake to about 200 mg (about one cup). Also, beware of energy drinks and sodas that contain caffeine.