Spicy Steamed Clamswith Modelo Negra

Fresh clams garnished with a smooth Modelo Negra make a perfect appetizer or main course, especially during the summer.

  • Serves
    4 people
  • prep
    40 min
    1 min
  • Skill


  • 1 ounce dried chiles (such as a combination of arbol, chipotle, guajillo, ancho)
  • 3 tablespoons almonds or pecans
  • 1½ teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Mexican oregano or dried thyme
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • Salsa Macha (recipe below)
  • About 4 pounds fresh clams
  • 1 cup Frontera Roasted Tomato Salsa
  • 2 cups fish broth, chicken broth or bottled clam juice
  • ¾ cup Modelo Negra beer
  • About 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


Make the salsa macha (instructions below).

Brush clam shells clean under cold water. Rinse well and drain in a colander. Tap clams to be sure they close tightly. Discard any clams that do not close when tapped.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil from the salsa macha in a medium-large (4- to 6-quart) heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the Frontera Salsa and cook, stirring, until rapidly boiling, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, Modelo Negra and 3 tablespoons of the chile solids from salsa macha. Heat to a boil, then taste and add salt to taste. (Recipe can be made several hours ahead of time; refrigerate.)

Season the mayonnaise by stirring in some of the solids from the salsa macha.

Just before serving, heat the broth mixture to the boil. Add the clams to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cover pot tightly. Cook until the clams begin to open, usually about 5 to 8 minutes.

Transfer clams to 4 serving bowls. Taste pan juices and adjust seasoning with more salsa macha and salt as desired. Spoon mixture evenly over clams. Sprinkle with cilantro. Pass the spicy mayo to dollop on top of clams. Use bread to enjoy the pan juices.