This recipe from Kirk's buddy Andrew Zimmern is quick, easy, and cheaper than a trip to Japan! Thanks, Andrew! Serves 2 (original recipe here).
1/2 cup sake
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
One 1 1/2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
2 dried hot red chiles
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Minced scallions, for garnish
In a large saucepan, combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, chiles and garlic and bring just to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
Add the clams, cover and cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to shallow bowls; discard the chiles and any clams that do not open.
Add the butter to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Season the sauce lightly with salt, then ladle over the clams and garnish with minced scallions; serve right away.