Diamond clams with pork belly and fino sherry and buttery fennel fried bread

The Spanish are responsible for some of the best surf and turf options around – the winning combination of shellfish and pork is no exception. This version has loads of bright flavours you would associate with Spanish cuisine, and the green chilli aioli and fried bread might just make it perfect. Serve with a Spanish-inspired spritz.










Pork belly and clams

  • 250g pork belly, skin removed, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Generous grind black pepper
  • 10g brown sugar
  • 15g sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 chorizo, finely chopped
  • 3 gold eschalots, sliced
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 ears of corn, corn sliced off the cob
  • 1kg diamond clams
  • 125ml fino sherry or vermouth
  • 1/2 lemon

Green chilli aioli

  • 6 cloves confit garlic
  • 1-3 green chillies, charred, blistered and peeled (adjust to desired heat)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200ml grapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper

Fried bread

  • 500g plain or bread flour
  • 330ml + 20ml lukewarm water
  • 10g salt
  • 4g yeast
  • 10ml olive oil
  • 80g cultured butter
  • 2-3 teaspoons fennel seeds


1. For the pork belly and clams

Add the diced pork belly, allspice, black pepper, brown sugar, salt, garlic, and olive oil to a bowl. Toss to combine, cover and refrigerate to marinate for an hour or more.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the pork, chorizo and eschalots, until the pork and chorizo develop a golden crust. Add the cinnamon, paprika, aniseed and bay leaves, and stir through the pork mix. Add the corn and clams and increase the heat to high, pour over the fino sherry (or vermouth). Reduce heat to medium, cover tightly with a lid and cook, agitating the pan every so often, until the clams have just popped open, this should only take a few minutes. Squeeze over the lemon and serve with fried bread and aioli.

2. For the aioli

This can be made a day or two in advance. In a spice grinder, add the chilli flesh and confit garlic, blitz to a paste. Set aside. Add the egg yolks with a pinch of salt to a small food processor, with the motor running, pour the oil in a steady fine stream (you can also do this by hand with a whisk and bowl), until you have a creamy emulsion. Add the chilli garlic paste and season to taste (if a little extra sharpness is required add a small squeeze of lemon).

3. For the bread

Starting a day in advance, sift the flour into a bowl, whisk in the salt and mix in 330ml of water until you have a sticky dough. Cover and rest for 60 minutes. Mix yeast with the remaining 20ml water and incorporate it into the dough along with the salt. Rub a layer of olive oil over the inside of a second container/bowl, loosely form the dough into a ball and place it into the oiled bowl, cover and rest. Stretch and fold the dough every 30 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold four times over 2 hours rotating 90°each time. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready the dough will be about double in size and pillowy. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for 30-60 minutes (depending on the ambient temperature). Carefully turn out onto a lightly floured surface, using a dough scrapper cut into 6 or 8 pieces and gently shape, stretching into long ovals, taking care not to tear the dough (the aim is to keep the integrity of the air bubbles). Heat the deep fryer to 180°C, fry the bread as required for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel. Heat the butter and fennel in a small saucepan until foaming, remove from the heat and spoon over the pieces of bread as they are served.

4. For the Spanish spritz

Pour 45ml of vermouth rosso in a glass over ice then top with 90ml of cava (dry Spanish sparkling wine) and a little soda. Serve with an orange slice.

As seen in Spring 2023

BIDFOOD appetiser white