Virginia Hill


10c Cromwell Road
South Yarra, Victoria 3141
T: +61 3 9804 7235
M: +61 4 08 170 734

Virginia Hill on LinkedIn


Microwave Cookery Means Freedom

Microwave cooking is faster and easier than most conventional cooking. You can quickly transform ingredients into delicious dishes, saving time, money and power.

Rhode Island Style Clam Chowder

Clear clam chowder originated along the southern coast of America on Rhode Island, a local delicacy preferred to the creamier Californian, San Franciscan version, favoured in Melbourne, Australia. Serves 6


  • 1 kg fresh loose or packaged pippis, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 200g whole piece bacon or salt pork, cut into 2mm dice
  • 1 large Spanish (red) onion, cut into 2mm dice
  • 2 large celery stalks, rinsed, cut into 1mm thick slices
  • 500g Desiree or any firm boiling potatoes, peeled, cut into 2mm dice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

Serves 6


In an 800Watt microwave place 500g of hard-shelled  pippis (30-35 pippis) in a single layer with 1 cup luke warm water.
In a large suitable microwaveable dish with a lid. Cook on High (100%) for 3 minutes or until the shells open. (See tip below).
Strain the pipi liquid into a measuring jug and set pippis aside. 
Repeat microwaving remaining pipis as above.
Remove all pipis from shells and set aside.
Melt butter in a heavy-based casserole or saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low, add the bacon or salt pork and cook, stirring for 5-6 minutes or until bacon starts to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towel and set aside.
Add onions and celery to the pot and cook stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes until vegetables are soft but not brown.
Stir in potatoes and wine. Continue cooking a further 5 minutes or until wine evaporates and potatoes have just started to soften.
Measure reserved pippi liquid and make up to 4 cups (1 Litre) if necessary with water. Pour into the pot adding thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Partly cover  and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Stir in reserved pippis and bacon. Add freshly ground pepper and a squeeze lemon juice to taste.
Remove the chowder from the heat. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Set aside for 10 minutes, reheat, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with fresh crusty bread.
Australian clams - often sold under the name ‘pipis’ can be used in place of the quahog clam, a hard shelled species found off the New England coast of America, traditionally used in this -clam chowder.
Any unopened pippis after microwaving can be gently prised open before further use.
Refrigerate chowder overnight to further develop flavours.