If you are a Malaysian Chinese, the word Kum Heong 金香 needs no introduction. It is basically a type of sauce that is used in various Chinese dishes. Kum heong is Cantonese and if directly translated, means "golden fragrance". This dish is definitely full with fragrance. The aromatic curry leaves together with shrimp and curry powder makes a powerful taste. Truly an authentic Malaysian dish, this dish is hot and spicy.
Lala is how Malaysian call their clams. You can find lalas quite easily in Malaysia. I suggest you get the biggest lalas you could get your hands on albeit the higher price as it have more bite and juice to it. Make sure you get your lalas fresh as dead lalas, even though just died, don't taste as good.
Kum Heong Lala/Clam 金香拉拉/金香蜆
600 g lala/clams, soaked in salted water and drain
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced
1/4 inch ginger, minced
1 1/2 tbsp dried shrimp, washed and drained
4 stalks of curry leaves
3-4 bird's eye chilli (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp tauchu/ fermented bean paste
pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in wok. When oil is hot, saute dried shrimp until crispy. Throw in shallot, garlic, bird's eye and curry leaves. Saute until it is fragrant. Add in tauchu, Continue to saute for a while.
2. Add in clams and mix thoroughly. Make sure fire is at maximum. Cover wok for 2 mins or until lala's shell begin to open. Do not overcook.
3. Remove from fire and serve.
1. If there is a lot still a lot of liquid when it is time to remove, use tapioca starch slurry to thicken the gravy.
2. Alternatively, you can also precook the lala (either steam or boil) before putting into wok. Then just stir to mix and remove.