Food Review Media Invite Travelogue

PUTIEN DuoTou Clam Festival

For years, PUTIEN (莆田) restaurant has been serving this seasonal Duotou Clam (哆头蛏, pronounced as Duo Tou Cheng) whenever it is available (usually somewhere in the 2nd to 3rd quarter of the year (in case you are wondering, it is now available till 31 July at PUTIEN outlets). This succulent ingredient are specially imported from Duo Tou Village in Putian city in eastern Fujian province as they are known to breed one of the best clams in China. While I love this variety of razor clams, I have never really went so up and close to the source till my recent trip to attend the first ever PUTIEN Duotou Clam Festival (“掌握好食材,原味福建菜——2019年首届莆田哆头蛏节发布会暨挖蛏仪式”). Stay with me as what I am going to share will definitely open your eyes on this succulent ingredient.

Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Just a little background for those who don’t know much about PUTIEN restaurant, the brand name was originated from Putian, the coastal town in Fujian province of China. The first outlet was opened in 2000 at Kitchener Road and has received several awards which includes its Michelin One Star Restaurant award since 2016. Some of its signature dishes include the Braised Pig Intestines, Braised Beancurd with Chinese Cabbage, Stir-Fried Yam, PUTIEN Lor Mee, Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon as well as seasonal items such as First Harvest seaweed with mini shrimps and the 6-cm-long clams aka DUOTOU Clams.
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
During my trip to Putian, I am very blessed to be able to witness the blessing ceremony at Cheow Hwee Temple which was attended by many influential people including the Mayor of Duo Tou Village as well as the local and international media. When it comes to a festival, one can also be sure that the local has full participation. So much so that the local policemen were also around to make sure that everything is in peace and order.
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
For more than 600 years, Duo Tou Village in Hanjiang district of Putian has been known to harvest this divine tasting King of the Clams which are fat, juicy and with a size of at least 5cm. The villagers attribute it to the blessing from Mazu, the Sea Goddess who is widely worshiped in Fujian for protection of the fishermen. Hence, every year there will be a blessing ceremony to ensure a bountiful harvest of these golden-shelled molluscs to be plump and succulent.
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
After the ceremony of blessing the water which will be sprinkled at the Duotou Clam field, Mr Fong Chi Chung (Founder of Pu Tien Holdings Pte Ltd) has also received a certification as the Appointed Promotion Board for Duotou Clams. Some of you maybe wondering why. A local whom I met at the coffeehouse shared that years ago, there were news that the area where the Duotou Clam Field is were set to make way to become reclaimed land for industrial development. However, thanks to Mr Fong Chi Chung, that didn’t happen. As a someone who come from Duo Tou Village, he felt that it will be a pity if the reclaimed land development really happen. Hence, the guy was more than thankful that this delicacy didn’t extinct because of Mr Fong Chi Chung’s intervention.
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
After the certification ceremony, together with all the media and villagers, the blessing ceremony continued with the several men carrying the “blessed water” to the field which is several kilometers away. Walking under the hot sun was definitely not an easy job as it felt as hot as maybe 37 degree. However, there were smiling faces and the whole ambiene was as if Chinese New Year celebration. This is something I really admired this coastal village for – the dedication and the spirit of unity of the villagers aka kampong spirit.
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
The clams that are harvested in Duo Tou village are distinctively unique in taste and this is because of rare type of black mud that the clams are bred in. The coastal soil is rich with deposits from more than 1000 years old and does not contain much sand particles. Hence, one will never get enough of these delicious Duotou clams.
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
However the harvesting process of the Duotou clams is never an easy job. It involves the villagers to collect the clam seedlings of the size of a rice grain during the Spring time for breeding and the clam farmers will start at 4am during the 2nd and 3rd month of the Lunar New year to scatter the clam seedlings evenly across the breeding ground. Timing is also very crucial here as the seedlings must be dispersed before the tides descent to ensure their survival!
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
After half a year of cultivation, then it is time to harvest. The clam farmers would need to wade out knee-deep into the mud field during low tide to harvest the clams. I kid you not, this is really tedious. The media was given a chance to experience the harvesting process. To maneuver around the field like the experienced clam farmers wasn’t easy, it was all the sweat and skills involved. I saw many got stuck in the mud and have difficulties moving even a step forward!
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
After harvesting, the muddy clams will be put into a net for rinsing and to weight the harvest. This marks an end to the harvesting process. However to ensure that the freshness of the Duotou clams, the clams are imported live so that diners can have the taste of the clams as if they were harvested and cooked immediately at the field.
Putien Clam-16
Putien Clam-30
Putien Clam-26
Putien Clam-8
Putien Clam-10
Putien Clam-14
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Putien Clam-18
You can now enjoy these DUOTOU clams in 8 different cooking styles from now to 31 July at all PUTIEN’s 13 outlets in Singapore. There are 2 new flavours this year which is the Stir-fried Sambal Chives with Duotou Clams ($22.80) and the Thai-Flavoured Duotou Clam ($21.80). For those who prefer to taste its natural sweetness, Baked Duotou Clam on Hot Plate ($21.80) is the best bet while my favourites are Duotou Clam Omelette ($22.80), Steamed Duotou Clam with Minced Garlic ($19.80) and Steamed Duotou Clam in Fermented Wine aka Huadiao wine ($22.80). There are also Stir-fried Duotou Clam with Ginger & Spring Onion ($21.80) and Salted Spicy Duotou Clam ($22.80).
Putien Clam-2
Putien Dou Tou Clam festival
Oh yes, don’t forget to order the PUTIEN Bian Rou Soup aka pork meat wrappers in traditional soup ($4.90 per pax). This dish is more just comforting. The paper-thin wonton wrapper is made by continuous pounding of at least 12,000 times times before it is rolled to 0.3cm thickness!

On the side note, you can also see me appearing in Fujian TV travel program here. Haha. my little moment of fame.

PUTIEN Restaurant
Kitchener Road – 127 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208514
VivoCity – 1 HarbourFront Walk, #02-131/132, Singapore 098585
Marina Square – 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-205, Singapore 039594
Tampines Mall – 4 Tampines Central 5, #B1-01/27, Singapore 529510
Jurong Point – 1 Jurong West Central 2, #02-34 JP1, Singapore 648886
Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade Road, #02-13/13A, Singapore 449269
nex – 23 Serangoon Central, #02-18/19, Singapore 556083
Resorts World Sentosa – 26, Sentosa Gateway, #01-203/204, The Forum Singapore 098138
Raffles City – 252 North Bridge Road, #02-18, Singapore 179103
ION Orchard – 2 Orchard Turn, #04-12, ION Orchard, Singapore 238801
Northpoint – 930 Yishun Ave 2, Northpoint Shopping Centre, #02-42/43/44, Singapore 769098
SingPost Centre – 10 Eunos Road 8, #03-106 Singapore Post Centre, Singapore 408600
Jewel Changi Airport – #02-249 Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819666
SingPost Centre – 10 Eunos Road 8, #03-106 Singapore Post Centre, Singapore 408600
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