These Geoduck Fritters are exceptionally light in texture which just highlights the slight crunch and chew of thinly sliced geoduck clams. The sweet and sour dipping sauce can be as spicy as you like.
- 6 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic, peeled & minced
- ½ teaspoon thai bird chile, seeded & minced (or more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon orange mint, thai basil or regular mint
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass, white tender parts only, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon shichimi togarashi
- 1 cup clam juice
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cup milk
- 1 geoduck clam, cleaned, prepped and very thinly sliced
- oil as needed for frying
- kosher salt, to taste
- lemon wedges, to taste
Prepare the sweet chili sauce sauce: In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, minced bird’s eye chili, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then simmer until liquid is reduced just slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir sauce from time to time. Remove from heat and allow to cool before use.
Prepare the fryer: Use a deep-fryer filled with oil according to manufacturer specifications. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Alternately, fill a large stockpot ⅓ full with oil and heat it to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the batter: Stack the orange mint leaves, then roll them cigar-style and slice crosswise into thin strips. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, orange mint strips (or substitute), lemongrass, ginger, shichimi togarashi, clam juice and eggs.
Add the milk a few tablespoons at a time until thick cake batter consistency is achieved. Add the geoduck slices and stir to combine thoroughly. Gently drop tablespoons of fritter batter into oil and cook, turning over often until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Do not crowd the fryer. Work in batches.
Remove with a wire strainer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season immediately with kosher salt and additional shichimi togarashi. Arrange fritters on a platter, garnish with a squeeze of lemon and more mint leaves. Serve with bowl of sweet chile sauce on the side for dipping.