The Easiest Way to Prepare Clams

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This week is flying by! Half way to the weekend! yay! I wanted to share with you guys how I prepared the clams with Sunday’s meal.  I didn’t grow up eating clams, other than canned clams in clam chowder. Utah didn’t specialize in shellfish. 🙂 My first experience with shellfish that was actually fresh and in the shell was when I visited California in college. I wanted to like it so much but it was pretty weird to me. But, now I LOVE shellfish–clams, mussels, oysters, I’ll take it all. I definitely think it’s an acquired taste and takes some time to appreciate the texture.

I’d never prepared fresh shellfish at home before John taught me. But it’s wickedly easy. And if you don’t live near fresh shellfish, I know there are companies that will overnight it and it’s more affordable than you’d think. My friends hosted an oyster roast a few months ago and they ordered them from Virginia and had them shipped. 

The way I prepare clams is super simple.

  1. Put 1/2 – 1″ water in a pot and place the clams in with the “hinge”  facing down (so they can open upwards).  Place a lid on top.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high and steam until the clams are all open! If 1 or 2 don’t open after the others all have, discard them. Don’t pry them open to eat.

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Watch more carefully than I did so your water doesn’t boil over and make a mess of your pot. 🙂

how to cook clams

I’m a firm believer that fresh, high quality seafood doesn’t need much doctoring and such was the case with these. I ate most plain, and tossed some with a little Earth Balance (butter) and hot sauce. If you’re new to eating clams, you just use a fork to pry out the meat from the shell!

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If you’re a shellfish pro, how do you cook/serve yours? 

Any shellfish haters?

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    15 responses to “The Easiest Way to Prepare Clams”

    1. I have also learned to love (or at least appreciate) shellfish (and fish in general). Growing up in Indiana, there wasn’t much opportunity! One of my guilty pleasures is tiny fried Maine shrimp, which I loved to eat at Governor’s when I lived in Orono, ME. I made the mistake of reading Dave Barry’s piece comparing lobsters to cockroaches, so don’t eat lobster much anymore!

      I draw the line at leftover shellfish (and fish), however. It seems to get unacceptably (to me) fishy overnight. I had an exquisite lunch of farro and kale salad with grilled salmon at Green Valley Grill in Greensboro and took my doggie box for lunch the next day. I ate it, but . . . not the same.

    2. Clams are my family’s go to “everyone’s home, let’s party!” dinner and I grew up eating them every year on our beach trips too. My dad always does them on the grill and everyone stands around just waiting to grab a bowl as he plucks them off the grill into our waiting hands. Then we dunk them in butter or cocktail sauce. Yum!!

    3. To be clear, our hands are waiting for the bowls not yr clams themselves. That would be really hot. Just in case anyone decided to try this method…

      • Hey, Meg–

        How do you do clams on the grill? I would like to know!


    4. Even though it sounds a little cruel to the clams–but I guess any method is!

    5. Make sure they are all closed to begin. Give them a really thorough rinse to get rid of any extra sand. Put them on a medium-high direct heat grill. They are done when they pop open all the way. Use tongs to pick them up and toss them in a bowl. Some of the juices will spill on the grill and make it spit a little, so be careful. Toss any that don’t open!

    6. I grew up near the coast, my Dad used to be a commercial lobsterman and he has a clamming license as well. Everyone in my family loves seafood! Except me. I like clams in chowder and I’ll eat about one lobster a season. I think the main reason I learned to love cooking so young was to make myself pasta or chicken when everyone else was having seafood.

      • A lot of people in Maine did not like lobster–considered it “poor people’s food” because there was always so much of it. It was definitely not by the time we lived there, though. McDonald’s had a lobster roll, though! It was terrible, I am sad to say.

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