This is a popular type of clam locally known as kabya. I’m not sure if it’s the same thing as nylon shells, but the appearance seems identical. I love clams because their refreshing and nutritious. They’re known to be good sources of iron and other vitamins and minerals.
Now, when buying clams and mussels, make sure that they are alive. Shells of live clams are closed. If they’re open, they should close once you tap them. If they don’t close, that means they’re dead. Also, avoid clams with cracks on their shells. After cooking, fresh clams and mussels should open. If they don’t, that also means they’re dead. Discard them.
The recipe below is known simply as Kabya or Kabya Soup. Unlike clam chowders, it is simply cooked to create a tasty broth. Definitely one of my favorites. The photo is courtesy of Larry Cayco. The recipe by Mrs. Trinidad Cayco.
You will need:
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp ginger, peeled, crushed, and choped
- 2 kilos live kabya (nylon) clams
- 1 medium-sized sayote or patola (luffa), peeled and chopped
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
- rock salt, pepper, and MSG (vetsin) to taste
How to prepare:
- Place the kabya clams in a deep tray. Add some water and a fistful of rock salt. Make sure that the tray is large enough so that the clams are submerged in the water. Leave it overnight or a few hours before cooking. This will cleanse the clams by spitting out sand and mud from their shells.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic, ginger, and onion. Add the kabya clams. Cooked for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add water and the seasonings. Cover. Simmer until the kabya clams have opened their shells.
- Add the sayote or patola. Add more water if needed. Cover. Cook until the vegetable is done.