Hamaguri Sakani

This is a simple, authentic-tasting Japanese hors d’oeuvre. Hamaguri Sakani (hah- mah-gur-ee sah-kah-nee), sake-flavoured clams, may be served to start a meal or as an accompaniment to drinks. Cockles may be substituted for the clams.

2 fl. oz. sake

12 clams, removed from their shells, half the shells scrubbed and reserved lemon slices for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring the sake to the boil over high heat. Drop in the clams, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook the clams for 5 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove the clams from the saucepan and place one in each clam shell. Garnish each clam with a slice of lemon. Arrange the clams on a serving dish and allow them to cool to room temperature. Then place the dish in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes before serving.