How to Cook Clams – A Guide

Cooking clams is a time-honored tradition that has been enjoyed for centuries. Clams are a type of shellfish that are highly versatile and can be prepared in many different ways. Whether you prefer steamed clams, clam chowder, or fried clams, there is a clam dish out there for everyone. In this blog you’ll learn all about how to cook clams!

Before diving into the many ways to prepare clams, it’s important to understand the different types of clams available. The most common types of clams include littleneck clams, cherrystone clams, and quahog clams. Littleneck clams are small and sweet, while cherrystone clams are larger and have a slightly brinier flavor. Quahog clams are the largest of the three and are often used in clam chowder.

Fresh Clams in a pile
Fresh clams

When selecting clams, it’s important to choose ones that are still alive. Fresh clams should have tightly closed shells, or if slightly open, they should close when tapped. If a clam shell is open and does not close when tapped, it is likely dead and should be discarded. Clams should also be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use and should be cooked within a day or two of purchase.

Different Ways to Make Clams

If you’re new to cooking clams, you may be wondering how to prepare them. Here are some tips on how to make clams:

How to Steam Clams

cooked clams

Steaming is one of the easiest ways to cook clams. To prepare steamed clams, place the clams in a large pot with a small amount of liquid, such as water or white wine. How long to cook clams? Steam the clams for 5-10 minutes until the shells open. Serve the steamed clams with melted butter or a dipping sauce.

How to Boil Clams

Boiling clams is another popular method of cooking clams. To boil clams, place them in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. If you’re wondering how long to boil clams, we’ve got you covered. Boil for 5-10 minutes or until the shells open. Serve with melted butter or a dipping sauce.

How to Cook Clams for Clam Chowder

To prepare clams for clam chowder, steam the clams in a small amount of liquid until the shells open. Remove the clams from the pot and reserve the liquid. Once the clams have cooled, remove them from their shells and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped clams and the reserved liquid to your chowder recipe.

Now that you know how to cook clams, let’s dive into some popular ways on how to prepare clams. Because once your clams cooked, it’s time to serve them up!

Clam Chowder

This classic New England dish, clam chowder, is made with clams, potatoes, onions, and milk or cream. There are many variations of clam chowder, but the most popular is New England-style, which is thick and creamy. A clam chowder is perfect for a cold winter day or as a comforting meal.

Clam Linguine

clams with parsley

This clam linguine is a popular Italian dish that is made with clams, garlic, olive oil, and linguine pasta. The clams are steamed in white wine and then added to the linguine and garlic mixture. Clam linguine is a simple yet delicious dish that is perfect for a date night or a family dinner.

Clam Bake

A clambake is a traditional New England dish that is typically prepared outdoors. Clams, lobster, corn, potatoes, and other vegetables are steamed in a large pot over a fire. The ingredients are typically seasoned with spices and served on a large platter. Clam bakes are perfect for a summer day or as a festive meal for a special occasion.

Clam Dip

A clam dip is a popular appetizer that is made with canned clams, cream cheese, sour cream, and various seasonings. The ingredients are mixed together and served with crackers or bread. Clam dip is a great addition to any party or gathering and is sure to be a hit with seafood lovers.

Fried Clams

Fried clams are a popular seafood dish that is often served in seafood restaurants. Clams are dipped in a batter and then fried until crispy. They are typically served with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. Fried clams are perfect as an appetizer or as a main dish.

Clams Casino

Clams casino is a classic appetizer that originated in Rhode Island. The dish consists of clams on the half shell that are topped with breadcrumbs, bacon, and a mixture of garlic, shallots, and butter. The clams are baked until the topping is golden brown and crispy. Clams casino is a flavorful and elegant appetizer that is perfect for a dinner party or special occasion.

Clam Cakes

Clam cakes are a popular snack in Rhode Island and other coastal regions. They are small, round balls of dough that are mixed with chopped clams and fried until golden brown. Clam cakes are often served with a side of tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. They are a great way to enjoy clams as a quick and easy snack or appetizer.

Clam and Corn Fritters

Clam and corn fritters are a unique twist on traditional clam cakes. The fritters are made with chopped clams, sweet corn, and a mixture of flour, baking powder, and seasonings. They are fried until crispy and golden brown and served with a dipping sauce. These clam and corn fritters are a great way to enjoy the flavors of the sea and the farm in one delicious bite.

Clam Stir-Fry

Stir-fry with clams is a simple and healthy way to enjoy clams. The dish is made with clams, garlic, ginger, and a variety of vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peppers, and onions. The clams are stir-fried with the vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. Clam stir-fry is a great option for a quick and easy weeknight meal that is both flavorful and nutritious.

In addition to these classic clam dishes, there are many other creative ways to incorporate clams into your meals. Clams can be added to soups, stews, and pasta dishes, or used as a topping for pizza or flatbread. They can also be used to make seafood paella, sushi rolls, and even ceviche. When selecting clams for your dishes, it’s important to choose ones that are fresh and alive. Look for clams that are tightly closed or that close when you tap them lightly. Avoid clams that are open or have broken shells, as they may not be safe to eat. With so many delicious and nutritious ways to enjoy clams, it’s no wonder why they are a beloved seafood around the world.

Pier Market – The BEST Clam Chowder

clam chowder

When it comes to clam chowder, Pier Market restaurant is the go-to spot in Fisherman’s Wharf. There are many reasons why Pier Market is considered the best place to get clam chowder in the area.

First and foremost, Pier Market uses only the freshest and highest quality ingredients in their clam chowder. The clams are locally sourced and the vegetables are delivered fresh from nearby farms. This commitment to using fresh, local ingredients ensures that the clam chowder is always flavorful and delicious.

Pier Market restaurant is the go-to destination for the best clam chowder in Fisherman’s Wharf. Using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, the chefs at Pier Market craft their clam chowder from scratch in-house, using a traditional recipe that has been perfected over time. The chowder is slow-cooked to allow the flavors to meld together and create a rich, creamy base that is full of flavor.

More Than Clam Chowder

Outdoor patio dining

But Pier Market is more than just great clam chowder. The restaurant itself is a beautiful waterfront location that offers stunning views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. The bright and spacious dining room and outdoor patio provide a great setting to enjoy a meal while taking in the sights and sounds of PIER 39.

Pier Market’s menu features a wide variety of seafood dishes, including crab cakes, fish and chips, and grilled seafood platters. Their mesquite grill, a traditional Southwestern style of cooking that originated in Mexico and the American Southwest, is an integral part of the restaurant’s style and cuisine. The mesquite wood adds a distinctive smoky flavor to the seafood and other dishes prepared on the grill.

To complement their delicious seafood, Pier Market also offers a full bar with a selection of local beers and wines, making it the perfect spot for a casual lunch or a night out with friends.

Pier Market is a great choice to dine at not just because of their delicious food, but also because of their excellent service. The staff is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. The restaurant also has a casual and welcoming atmosphere, making it a comfortable place to dine with family and friends or even for a romantic date evening. All of these factors combined make Pier Market a top choice for anyone looking for a great meal and a memorable dining experience in Fisherman’s Wharf.

In conclusion, Pier Market restaurant offers the perfect combination of great food, a stunning waterfront location, and a wide selection of local beers and wines. Whether you’re in the mood for clam chowder or any of their other delicious seafood dishes, Pier Market is a must-visit destination in Fisherman’s Wharf.

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