15 Minute Gourmet – Garlic chilli clams

This garlic chilli clam recipe makes for effortless gourmet cooking. Not only do clams look great on a plate, but they taste delicious too! The briny, oceanic flavours of the clams pair perfectly with the spice of chilli, while the crispy parma ham is the secret ingredient that turns a simple dish into something extraordinary.

If you’ve never cooked clams before, don’t worry. They are surprisingly easy to cook, plus the finished product is absolutely divine. This recipe should definitely be added to your dinner party repertoire, or just enjoy them for yourself the next time you see fresh clams available – although frozen clams will still be just as yummy in this garlic chilli clam recipe. 


Serves 4

  • 500g cleaned clams, fresh or frozen
  • 6 x slices, parma ham, shredded
  • 4 x cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 seeded and finely chopped red chilli 
  • 150ml white wine 
  •  6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Heat the olive oil in a lidded frying pan and fry the parma ham until crisp. 
  2. Add the garlic and chilli, and gently fry for about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the white wine and once the wine begins to bubble add in the clams. Do not add too many clams to the pan at once. If the clams are stacked on top of each other, the weight of the other clams will make it more difficult for the clams on the bottom to open.
  4. Put the lid on the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan, until all of the clams are open. If some of the clams have not opened, they were either not cooked long enough or they are bad and should be discarded. Be careful not to cook clams too long or they become tough.
  5. Remove from heat and plate onto dishes.
  6. Serve piping hot garnished with lemon wedges, and with a side of bread or garden salad for the more health-conscious.
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