Have you ever wanted to go clamming? Last weekend my husband and I went for the first time since we’ve lived in Alaska. It’s a lot of hard work, but it was fun. Fun as long as you don’t get too many, because boy, are they a pain to clean.
The razor clams we can get here are really large. We were on a beach at Ninilchik, which is on the Kenai Peninsula, a couple of hours south of Anchorage. You can use a clam shovel or a clam gun(a big tube you push down into the sand, cover a hole in the gun to create a suction, and lift back up to remove the sand). You walk on the beach during low tide, and look for little “dimples” where the clams have been. You then either dig with the shovel or use the gun. The problem is that these clams are fast. If you’re using the shovel, you can then be down on your knees, and literally up to your elbows digging down for them. We had one shovel and one gun. The gun hurt my back and took a lot of strength, so my husband used that. The shovel was too difficult to use, so my job became to spot the dimple, then call to my husband who then used the gun. Made my work a lot easier.

I won’t go too much into detail about the cleaning process, or you just might not want to eat those clams next time you order them. Let’s just say it involves dipping the live clams to boiling water to remove the shells(they do die quickly), then taking a pair of scizzors, cutting out the guts, etc. Enough said.
We wanted to try fried clams, as that’s most people’s favorite way to eat them. First, I haven’t deep-fried anything in probably 20 years. I can’t stand the way it leaves the house smelling. I rolled the clams in flour first, then beaten egg, then half I rolled in cornmeal and half in Panko. I definately liked the panko better. The clams were very tender (you can only fry them 30 seconds to a minute on each side, or they get very tough). But the clam flavor was very faint. Mainly what I tasted was the fried batter. I froze part of them to make clam chowder from, so I’ll let you know how that turns out later.


RAZOR CLAMS — 8 Comments

  1. That really looks like a lot of work! I guess it’s good exercise, though, so you deserved to eat the clams!

  2. Huge clams. There were people out clamming when we were in Maine – despite huge signs warning that it was dangerous to eat them because of the red bloom algae.
    Panko is certainly the way to go – what DO they put in that stuff?

  3. oh my, they are huge! The razor clams I frequently saw in my local markets are… in fact just like the traditional men’s razors! At a glance… I thought you caught geoducks 😛
    I would love to try clam catching one day 😀 besides all the hard work, I think it’s a great excuse to waddle in the mud like we used to when kids!
    The only mollusks I can find in Belgian Coast are mussels and my family ate them only at certain months with the ‘Rs’. The other months probably spawning time for the mollusks. Back in Southeast Asia, I would soak the clams in salt water for certain time for them to purge impurities (in Belgium, milk is used instead) then it’s either quick stir-fry, steam with wine (like drunken prawns) or curry.
    You sure have interesting food going on in Alaska…I’m KIV your blog. Thank you for sharing 😉

  4. Huge! I didn’t realize they were so big. I went clamming once while living north of Seattle. It was a lot of work for only a few clams. I bought them at the store after that 🙂