When we got back from our European vacation three weeks ago, digestive issues struck. Two weeks straight of mostly restaurant food and more alcohol than I usually drink, coupled with the physical stress of flying and jetlag... well, add it all up and let's just say my intestines were expressing their discontent.
I had bought some littlenecks on a whim and was planning a wine-based sauce, but I switched things up at the last minute to incorporate some gut-soothing ginger and some miso, a fermented food that introduces good bacteria to help the digestive system get back into its regular happy, healthy rhythm.
I also added some heat, because I tend to feel that soothes my stomach... but I know that for some people it's the opposite, so feel free to omit the hot pepper sauce. Here's the recipe!
CLAMS WITH SPICY TOMATO MISO BROTH
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 bunch kale
2 lbs littlenecks
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 c vegetable broth
2 Tbsp red miso paste
1 tsp hot pepper sauce of your choosing (optional)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
In a large pan (I like my cast-iron wok), heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Coarsely chop kale. When oil is hot, add kale to pan. Stir frequently as you cook to taste (I like it cooked for just a few minutes until bright green; I often turn off the pan as soon as the kale is heated through, and let the heat absorbed by the cast iron finish the cooking.) Set kale aside (leave in pan or cover to keep warm). Scrub the clams and discard any with broken shells. In a large pan with a lid (I use a pasta pot), heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onions. Stir for 3 minutes, then add ginger and garlic. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Add broth, miso, and hot pepper sauce and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture simmers, add the tomatoes and the clams. Cover and let steam for 3 minutes, then lift the lid slightly to check. You want to remove any clams that are wide open, while allowing the others to continue cooking. After 8 minutes, turn off heat and discard any that have not opened. Serve the rest over sauteed kale. Eat the tomato ginger miso broth as a delicious side dish!