Fish and seafood Recipes Recipes for special occasions

Clams to malagueña

Clams to malagueña


  • Easy
  • 25 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 6.5 € / person

Within the gastronomy of Malaga we find several seafood dishes, among them one of my favorites is  clams with Malaga sauce , a dish that resembles clams to the seafood from my land. In Malaga they do not add tomato and mix the sauce with chopped parsley, leaving almost a mixed between the seafood-style and the clams in green sauce . They are also very easy to prepare and very grateful for their great sea flavor. I assure you that they are very rich, also like most of the recipes on the blog are accompanied by a curious story.

Clams in Malaga have not always been appreciated. The small ones, which in some places are called chirlas , served to describe a neighborhood whose inhabitants were considered low-key. The neighborhood began to exist when the city grew outside the Muslim walls to the north, where the Virgen de la Victoria Sanctuary of the Patron Saint of Malaga was  located, located where the Catholic Monarchs established their camp in the year 1,487 in the reconquest of the city. Currently this neighborhood is called  Victoria , one of the most traditional areas of Malaga, formerly the neighborhood of  “chupitiras” .

In the middle of the 19th century, the petty bourgeoisie, especially the administrative class, settled in its streets. These people liked to pretend a social status that little or nothing fit their real economy. The popular stories from Malaga say that they achieved this in part by making cheap meals such as garlic and seafood soups , with clams being the  main ingredient. They ate them with the “stiff” little finger and sucked on the mollusk , with the shell they sipped the broth and then threw it away; for this reason the name of the ” sucks and throws ” that with time and the Andalusian accent was reduced to “chupitira”. Today you can taste a plate of chupitiras  in Malaga in almost all restaurants, picnic areas and beach bars. I hope you like them.

Before cooking the clams

This recipe is very simple, although it is important to choose the main ingredient well:  clams .

  1. It is essential to remove the sand that clams usually bring so that it is not bothersome and does not spoil the recipe. It is convenient to have them about three hours before cooking them in a saucepan or large plastic container. We must add water, a good handful of coarse salt and change the water three or four times. The clams drink and usually drop a lot of sand, do not panic because it is a sign that the clam is of good quality.
  2. Try to buy the live clams and cook them the same day that you are going to have at the lunch or dinner that you are going to prepare. This way you take advantage of the good quality of the clam and at lunchtime it will be ready.
  3. In order to make them delicious, I advise you to open them with a little white wine and steamed. Those that do not open and those that are broken we will have to throw away. To steam them, we wash the clams very well in cold water and remove all the impurities. We heat a glass of white wine (in this case a fine Chipiona) in the saucepan. When the liquid begins to boil add the clams. We leave them cooking covered for 3 minutillos and as soon as they are all open we remove them with a slotted spoon. Let cool and reserve in a source. The water that has been released in the cooking is not going to be thrown, it will be a very important part to flavor the sauce. Strain it and leave in a glass.

Preparation of clams a la malageña

  1. Peel the onions, the pepper and the garlic. We remove the center of the garlic so that it does not repeat or chop. Finely chop the onions and bell pepper, the garlic cloves and the piece of chilli (if you like that spicy touch you already know, remove this ingredient). There should be very small pieces so that at the end of the stew the texture of none is not appreciated but the flavor.
  2. Finely chop the fresh parsley with a good knife without crushing it. We reserve
  3. We put in the casserole, which we have used to make the steamed clams, the olive oil and add the onion, the pepper, the garlic cloves and the half chilli. We season only a little (the clams already have salt and we don’t want to overdo it). When everything is well poached and with a characteristic toasted color, lower the heat and add the chopped parsley and the sweet Vera paprika. We stir over low heat for 1 minute, so that the paprika does not burn or the sauce will spoil us.
  4. Sprinkle the flour in the casserole and stir carefully to mix it well. The flour mixture with the rest of the ingredients is called Roux , and it will help us bind and thicken the sauce. We let it cook taking some color but without burning. We already have the base of the Malaga sauce.
  5. Add the liquid that the clams have released mixed with a good broth (which is typical Andalusian), remove by thickening the sauce and allowing any alcohol that may remain from the wine to evaporate. Let it thicken for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat while stirring.
  6. We taste salt, season with salt if necessary, although normally it is not.
  7. Next we add the clams that we already had selected and opened to the steam. We link the sauce and the clams a couple of minutes, stirring very carefully, turn off the heat and wait a couple of minutes more until the clams are well impregnated with the sauce.

We serve immediately in a clay pot or a large tray, freshly made and very hot. Remember that to be good chupitiras  we must take the clams with the index finger and thumb, the little finger very stiff. We suck the mollusk and use the shell as a teaspoon to sip the broth. Simply delicious. Long live Malaga and its cuisine!

The friend from Malaga, Luis García (what do you write!), Has sent me an email and wanted to share it with all of you, it is worth reading those fond memories:

“It is a recipe that with its smells and the sound of clams in the pan, takes me back to my earliest childhood, because I think I have eaten chirlas since I learned to stick my lip in the shell to drag” padentro el bichito “, as my mother used to say and get tired of throwing bread to dip the broth. It reminds me of the summers in which the fishmonger arrived on a motorcycle (a tatty, tatty, tatty) with all his merchandise hanging in boxes and buckets (I think about it now and I don’t know how that man kept his balance) in the back, playing the whistle and loudly chewing their horse mackerel, chopitos, anchovies, chirlas,… .. chanquete !, I was fortunate enough to meet them until they banned “flakes”, which was the art with which they fished. ”

Thank you colleagues in the kitchen!

Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog, I assure you that you will find a lot of ideas to make yours much happier.

You can see all the photos of the step by step in the next album.

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