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Q&A

When stir frying clams, why thicken the black bean sauce with corn starch?

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4 Remove the lid and stir up the cornstarch mixture, add it to the pant and continue stirring until thickened. Transfer the clams to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Helen's Asian Kitchen: Easy Chinese Stir-Fries. p. 90. Her similar post online.

In her foreword on p. 10, Chen writes

Why is cornstarch important?

Marinating meats and seafood with a little wine and cornstarch before cooking helps to seal in the juices, keeping the ingredients moist and tender when stir-fried. And because cornstarch quickly creates a translucent, thickened sauce, it is perfect for the rapid cooking style of stir frying. (Flour, on the other hand, requires a longer cooking time to remove that raw, flour taste.) When using cornstarch to thicken sauces and gravies, always mix it thoroughly with a little water before adding to hot liquids.

Chen adds corn starch to almost all recipes in this book. I still don't understand why, especially for clams?

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