The more common term for baby clam is hến. However, according to my mother, giong is a different type of clam. It's more yellow while hến is black-ish. Hến is often used in Huế cuisine. Huế and Quảng Ngãi are both in Miền Trung (Central Vietnam). I also remember my landlady from Northern Vietnam making this soup with dill. I had never seen dill used in Vietnamese food before, other than in chả cá.
Canh Hến (Baby Clam Soup)
Here in North America, my mom buys canned baby clams for this soup. It takes 10 minutes to make and you only need 2 other ingredients: green onion and chili peppers. I like this soup spicy but you can tone it down to your taste.
* 1 can baby clams
* 2-3 green onion, sliced thinly
* 1 jalapeño pepper (or any type of chili pepper), sliced thinly - optional
Drain the baby clams and save the clam juice (this is key for the soup!).
Stir fry the drained green onion, pepper and baby clams in oil.
Season with salt.
When the green onion and pepper look cooked, add the reserved clam juice and the same amount of water (about a can full).
Bring to a boil and turn the heat down.
Taste the soup and season with salt to taste.
Serve with bánh tráng (toasted sesame rice paper).
My mom believes these are actually giong since they are yellow clams.
My mom's bánh tráng seems to have more sesame seeds than mine!
You have to eat the pieces of bánh tráng before they get soggy!