Ride the Wild Wasabi Surf Clams at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant in Flushing

Ride the Wild Wasabi Surf Clams at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant in Flushing

The dark red clams and rough-cut cukes make a very pretty picture on the plate.

The surf clams, meaty and briny, look like those southern Italian chile-pepper necklaces, and the cukes are jagged, with a profound crunch provided by the thick kirby skins. But the biggest surprise is the invisible dressing on this delightful salad ($10.95), known as wasabi surf clams.

The salad is tossed with a light and clean-tasting wasabi dressing, leaving a slight burn on the lips and giving it a Japanese-y flavor, but also reminding us how close parts of northern China are to Japan, and the complicated love-hate relationship between the two nations.

You can find it at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant, a newcomer in Flushing's Chinatown located -- as most of the new northern Chinese restaurants are -- in a little campus nearly a half-mile south of downtown. And the menu contains many more fascinating dishes.

Yi Lan Halal Restaurant 42-79A Main Street Flushing, Queens 718-886-3622

Ride the Wild Wasabi Surf Clams at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant in Flushing

Our crew last Sunday afternoon


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