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Arak Clams
Middle Eastern
Sharing plate
Over 2 hours

A very quick recipe to make (once you’ve made the stock and confit garlic in advance), just a case of throwing the clams and garnishes in a hot pan and spooning on top of a toasted pita smeared in harissa. We use Lebanese arak at The Palomar, if you can’t find arak ouzo could be a substituted. We finish this dish by grating leben (a hard cheese made from dried yoghurt) on top of the dish, a hard goat’s cheese would be a suitable alternative. A seasonal alternative to this dish would be using mussels.

Recipe courtesy of

Confit Garlic (for the clams)

  • 100g Peeled Garlic
  • 100g Olive Oil
  • 4g Sage

Seafood Stock:

  • 500g Prawns shells
  • 500g Celery, chopped
  • 500g Carrots peeled and chopped
  • 500g White onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch of flat parsley
  • 7g Thyme
  • 2x Bay leaves
  • 2g All Spice
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 8L Water

Arak seafood stock (for the clams)

  • 1kg Seafood Stock
  • 160g Arak
  • 7gr Tarragon

ArakClams – assembly:

  • Confit garlic
  • Bunch of fresh sage (chopped)
  • ¼ green chilli (finely sliced)
  • 150g clams (or mussels)
  • Arak Seafood Stock
  • Bunch of parsley (chopped)
  • Bunch of basil (chopped)
  • Bunch of mint (chopped)
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • Pita
  • Harissa paste
  • Leben or hard goat’s cheese (to grate on top)
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Make the confit garlic

  1. Simmer all ingredients in a pan until the garlic is soft but notdark brown. Don’t bring to a boil.
  2. The oil can be reuse to make other batches of confit
  3. The confit garlic can be kept in a jar until needed

Make the seafood stock

  1. In a big pot, bring to boil all the ingredients in water, simmer for about 2 hours, then take the pot of the heat and wait till all the vegetables sink in the pot. Then drain.

Make the Arak seafood stock

  1. Mix together all ingredients. The stock can be frozen until needed, and can be used for other seafood dishes.

Make the Arak clams

  1. First get the harissa pita ready - spread the harissa paste on the pita with some olive oil. Grill to create a nice crust.
  2. While the pita is grilling, add the confit garlic, chilli, fresh sage and clams to a pan over a high heat. Add arak stock to just cover the clams. Cook until the clams open. If the clams don’t open, cover the pan with a lid and add some more stock.
  3. Once the clams are opened, add a bit more arak stock, and add the rest of the herbs and spinach. Feel free here to add more of any of the herbs (basil, mint or parsley) if you have a preference - this dish is quite free so have some fun! Cook for a further minute.
  4. Spoon the clams, herbs, garlic on top of the grilled pita. Finish with a grating of leben or hard goat’s cheese.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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