Wonsan Clam Meat Rice

Wonsan rice boiled with clam meat, a specialty of Kangwon Province in the East Sea of Korea, is a food prepared by wrapping in various edible herbs or vegetable leaves a clam shell filled with rice boiled together with the meat of clam and steaming it.

As clam meat contains much protein, lipid, vitamins and other nutritive substances and has good taste and flavour, the Korean people have used it widely in preparing foods from olden times. Its thick, hard and glossy shell was also used as a rice spatula, trinkets and other purposes.

Historical documents record various names of clam shells and their ecological features. This proves the fact that the Koreans have long since used them in a diverse way.

Wonsan clam meat rice has become more famous as it is prepared with tasty and high nutritious clam meat and by applying a unique cooking method.

The method is as follows:

First, put oil into a pan to fry dried red pepper until it smells pungent. Then fill the pan with 200g of thickly-sliced clam meat, swelled red pepper, green pepper, smashed onion, garlic and ginger and add them with cooking wine, salt, powdered black pepper before frying them with 80g of boiled rice and sesame oil. When it smells tasty, turn off the gas. Put the rice into the shell before pouring some clam meat soup into it. Wrap the shell with leopard plant or perilla leaves and steam it again for about 40 minutes.

This food has the following features: First, it has hot taste and peculiar spicy flavour. Second, it is savory without fishy taste. Third, the boiled rice preserves the shape of grains. Fourth, it looks oily.

Its flavour varies according to the leaves of wrapping the shell. So, clients can have a taste according to their demands.

The Wonsan clam meat rice stimulates appetite for its peculiar colours, flavours, savory and hot tastes and the feeling of chewing clam meat, along with the eye-catching shell. 

Pak Chol Hak, researcher at the Folklore
Research Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences

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