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Thai Chilli Paste & Basil Clams Spaghetti (Hoi Lai Pad Nam Prik Pao Pasta)

Believe it or not, this was actually the first time I cooked with clams. Clams are not something that I’d crave for, and I’ve had many sandy experiences with Clams when I ordered them at food centres. I wanted to make a dear friend lunch, and knowing that she loves clams, I decided to try cooking them.
I’m really glad that my friend enjoyed her lunch. She eats like a bird (very small portions), but after one regular portion, she said she was still hungry and wanted more! 🙂 Even I enjoyed the meal, given that I am not a big fan of clams. 
Being me, I had to make something Thai fusion, so I thought of Hoi Lai Pad Nam Prik Pao. I bought a bottle of Thai chilli paste from Bangkok during my last trip, and this recipe gives me a reason to use it! Thai chilli paste is mildly spicy, sweet, sour, and has a hint of shrimp paste. It taste a little like sweet sambal chilli, I’ve not seen it selling at the local supermarket. But I’m sure you can get it at golden mile, or substitute for a sweet chilli paste. Better yet, if you feel up to it, make it from scratch using this recipe HERE
Cooking this dish was really simple and took less than 30 minutes from prep to finish. The only inactive time was the soaking of the clams for it to purge out the sand. After rinsing the clams and gently scrubbing its shell. Lay them out on a tray with shallow salt water, then loosely tent it with aluminium foil. Remember to leave vents! Soak for 30 minutes to an hour in a cool area. Rinse again, drain, and you are ready to cook dem clams! 

Thai Chilli Paste & Basil Clams Spaghetti

This gorgeous mess is also known as Hoi Lai Pad Nam Prik Pao Spaghetti
Servings 4


  • 4 servings of pasta
  • 600 g clams
  • 1 stalk lemongrass minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 red chilli seeded & minced
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Thai chilli paste Nam Prik Pao
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1/2 cup seafood stock/chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • lime wedges to serve


  • Cook your pasta 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.
  • Heat pan on med high, and add oil.
  • When oil is hot, add garlic, chilli, shallot, and lemongrass.
  • Saute until soft and fragrant.
  • Add oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and Thai chilli paste.
  • Saute for 30 seconds, until combined.
  • Add clams, and stir fry until half cooked.
  • Pour in stock, and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to medium, and cook till clams are cooked through, and opened up.
  • Add cooked spaghetti, toss to combined.
  • Remove from heat, and toss in basil and parsley.
  • Add juice of 1/2 lime, toss to combined.
  • Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.
clam pasta 2

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  • Reply
    Jennifer Miller
    22 May, 2015 at 2:15 am

    I've been craving a clam dish like this all day …. yum!

  • Reply
    Leong Sook Ling Rosalind
    17 September, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Why must put aluminum and still leave vent?

    • Reply
      Sharon Lam
      22 September, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Clams like to rest in dark areas, during that time it will be self-cleaning, spitting out sand and impurities. The vent is to ensure oxygen flow in the covered area, so that the clams will not die.

  • Reply
    17 September, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Thank you very much for sharing . I will try it soon.

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