Fish, Recipes
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Spaghetti Vongole Bianco with Shio Koji

The Japanese love noodles of all shapes and sizes! Soba, udon, ramen, pasta – statistics say South Korea tops the world chart for consumption of noodles, followed closely by Japan.

I love noodles, too – so much so that when lunchtime comes the cry goes up in my home – what, noodles again!?

I’m writing this just before lunch – Mmm, what kind of noodles shall I make today?

How about a special Vongole Bianco – a delicious clam sauce goes wonderfully with the gentle saltiness of shio koji.


  • 160g spaghetti
  • 300g clams (in their shells, cleaned in salt water)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 50cc white wine
  • 5 tablespoons shio koji (the saltiness will depend on your shio koji, so adjust to taste)
  • black pepper
  • parsley
  • salt

1. Wash the clams and place them in a tray with about 500cc water and one tablespoon of sea salt, and leave for one hour or more to clean out any sand. Then wash well to remove any grit from the shells. (Use just enough water so the clams can just poke their heads out of the water!)

2. Take the seeds out of the chilli pepper.

3. Cut the garlic lengthwise, remove the core and chop finely.

4. Fill a saucepan with plenty of water and add salt (about 30g of salt per 3 litres of water). Begin to boil the spaghetti. (Aim to have your sauce ready before the pasta is cooked.)

5. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the garlic and chilli pepper, being careful not to burn them.

6. Add the clams and white white, put a lid on the frying pan and steam on a low heat until the clams open their shells. (If you want to enjoy the clam meat, steam on a medium heat for a shorter time, to make the soup richer keep the heat low and steam for longer. I like a rich clam sauce that will coat the pasta, so I keep the heat on low!)

7. Add 2 tablespoons or so of the water you are boiling the pasta in (the exact amount will depend on how thick your sauce is so adjust as necessary) and then add black pepper and shio koji to the sauce and mix well.

8. Add the boiled spaghetti to the sauce in the frying pan, shake and stir to coat the pasta in your sauce, and finally sprinkle with parsley.

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