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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 17, 2011 at 10:25 AM

There are many ways to cook up some tasty razor clams

As we head into another coastal razor clam dig (Twin Harbors open this Thursday to Saturday, and Copalis, Mocrocks, Long Beach and Kalaloch open this Friday and Saturday), my favorite way to cook”em up is simply to coat with egg and flour, and then fry them up and serve with Ivar’s tartar sauce.

But there are hundreds of ways to cook up these tasty bivalves, and I found these recipes on the state Fish and Wildlife web site.

Rich’s Broiled/Baked Razor Clams

You will need: Razor clams, cleaned. (The fresher the better)

Eggs, beaten (however many you need for your egg wash).

Ritz Crackers, regular kind (not the low-fat or low-sodium varieties), crushed. Enough to coat the clams.

Butter, melted. (Margarine works)

Preparation: Turn your oven broiler on to high. It needs to be HOT.

1. Dip the cleaned clams in the egg wash.

2. Coat well with crushed Ritz crackers.

3. Lay the clams out, single layer, on a greased baking sheet. (Lining the sheet with foil first makes easier clean up)

4. Drizzle the clams with melted butter, more or less to taste. (Without it you’ll get dry clams)


1. Put the pan on the top oven rack under the HOT broiler.

2. Broil 3 minutes. Turn over. Broil 3 more minutes, and they’re done. Avoid over-cooking or the clams get rubbery.

The key is a HOT broiler or oven. You can do this in a HOT (500-degree) oven, without having to turn the clams over, but I’m not sure of the time. I prefer the broiler, thank you.

Done right, the clams are fork tender. And with no grease or oil spatter and mess from a frying pan, you’ll probably never want to fry a clam again!

(Rich Daneker, KXRO Radio, Aberdeen, Wash.)

Fried Clams

1 limit of clams (15)

3 eggs

1 cup of flour

1 cup of cracker crumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse clams, drain, dip in flour, egg, and roll in cracker crumbs. Using high heat, fry in 1/4 inch oil in pan. Brown quickly for one minute or until brown per side. Take out and lay out on paper towels to absorb any grease, then serve.

Clam Chowder

2 Tbl. diced bacon or salt pork

1/2 C. chopped onion

1 C. diced raw potatoes

2 C. water

1 pint clams ground or chopped and liquid

1 can evaporated milk

3 Tbl. butter

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

Saute pork or bacon until crisp. Remove scraps from pan and reserve for use later as a garnish. Add chopped onion to hot fat, saute until tender but do not brown. Combine cooked onion and diced potatoes in a deep saucepan. Add water, bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir in clams and all other ingredients. Heat until piping hot, but do not boil. Serves 6.

Razor Clam Fritters

1 C. chopped razor clams (reserve the liquid)

1 bottle flat beer

1 1/2 C. pancake mix

6 green onions – cut very thin, use greens

1/2 green pepper – cut very thin

1 stalk celery – cut very thin

Mix onions, celery, green pepper and pancake mix together. Add clams and juice to other ingredients, then add beer till you have a very thick mixture that can be dropped from spoon into hot oil at 375 . You may not need all the beer because of the clam juice. Drop by spoonful in oil – cook 2 min. per side – test, if not cooked- drop by smaller spoonfuls.

Spaghetti & Clam Sauce

1-1 1/2 C. clams -grind about 6 big razor clams (reserve the liquid)

1 C. dry white wine, very dry sherry or vermouth.

1 C. chopped onions

1-2 cloves garlic

1/4 C. butter and 1/4 C. olive oil

1-2 tsp. oregano

1-2 tsp. basil

3 Tbl. Romano or Parmesan cheese (grated)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbl. parsley if you use dried – 1 cup if you use fresh-chopped

1 Pkg. spaghetti noodles cooked

Saute onion and garlic (crushed) in butter and oil combined until almost tender. Add spices. Combine wine and clam juice and add it at this point – simmer to reduce some liquid then pour in the clams, parsley and cheese. Simmer for a few minutes to warm up clams. Add salt and pepper. Pour the whole pan of sauce on your cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle on more cheese as desired.

“Smoked” Razor Clams

1 limit of razor clams (cut into small pieces)

1/2 C. oil

1 tbsp. Liquid smoke

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. seasoning salt

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. celery salt

1 tbsp. garlic powder

Combine and stir oil and seasonings, then add clams. Bake on cookie sheet or in shallow pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Stir and drain frequently, saving juice. Store clams and juice in air-tight container. Will keep in refrigerator 2-3 weeks.

Fried Razor Clams and Fritters

Cheese flavored goldfish crackers


Chopped clams

Clam liquid

Chopped chives, sauted shallots or onions

Run cheese flavored goldfish crackers through a food processor and use them for the breading for frying the clams. The herbed, cheesy flavor is delicious.

You can also use them for clam fritters. Take the leftover egg and breading, add the milky clam liquid (minus sand) from the bowl the clams were in before breading, add some chopped clam, and if you wish, some chopped chives, or sauteed chopped shallots or onions and fry the fritters in the pan used to do the clams. This is almost better than the clams by themselves, and it stretches the limit to feed your limitless friends, and your friends will be limitless, once word gets around

Best Darn Razor Clam Dip Ever

Basic ingredients

2- 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese reduced fat variety works fine)

8-10 oz chopped razor clams (gently cooked) a little – to lots- of clam nectar from the cooked clams (depending on how clammy you like it)

1 Tbs. Worchestershire Sauce (use the brown variety ONLY)

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. garlic powder

Salt to taste

A little sugar to taste if you like

3-4 shots of tabasco

Add ins:

1- tsp lemon zest (if you like) for flavor and garnish

1-2 finely chopped green onion(s) for flavor and garnish chili powder or paprika for some “kick & color”

Finely (or not so finely) chop razor clams in processor (or by hand)

Cook on Power 8 (sauté) ~ 1.5- 2 min. in microwave in container with vented lid.

CAUTION: Do not overcook clams!! (Unless you like chopped rubber bands.) You can always cook a little more if need be.

Cool clams quickly after cooking (I put dish in freezer for 5-10 min )

Add clams and nectar (all or some)

Mix all above ingredients

Adjust salt, sugar, garlic, lemon, Tabasco, zest to taste

Garnish and enjoy !!!

Note: For thinner consistency, add or substitute sour cream, cottage cheese or plain yogurt for some of the cream cheese.

Pacific Razor Clams with Lemongrass

4 large Northwest razor clams

Pacific Rim Herb Paste

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic

1 small stalk fresh lemongrass, end cut off, trimmed and finely minced

1/2 teaspoon chili paste (sambal olek)

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons canola oil

3 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

1/4 cup light coconut milk (or use regular)

Garnish: 5-6 large cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped; 1 lime, quartered, or 2 tiny Key limes, halved


Clean the clams and separate the belly from the neck part of the clam. Cut the neck part into bias strips.

Make the herb paste: Combine the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chili paste, oil and salt together in a small bowl. If you have a food processor, then give it a quick pulse to combine. Toss with the clams.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high/high heat. Cook the belly part of the clam for 1 minute, turning as needed. Then add the remaining clam strips, green onions and bell pepper and sauté for about 1 minute more, moving ingredients around the pan as they cook. Add fish sauce and coconut milk and cook about 1/2 – 1 minute until heated through. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with limes for squeezing. Serve immediately.

(2009 Kathy Casey Food Studios)

Razor Clams with Ginger, Black Beans, and Asparagus

Serves 4

4 razor clams

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 large bunch of asparagus, woody ends cut off and spears sliced on the bias (about 2 cups prepped)

1 cup thickly sliced sweet white onion

1 red jalapeño, thinly sliced (seeds removed)

1-2 tablespoons Asian fermented black beans, rinsed well and finely minced

1 tablespoon finely minced ginger

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

3/4 teaspoon cornstarch


Clean the clams and then separate the belly from the neck part of the clam. Cut the neck part into bias strips.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over high heat. Add the asparagus, onion and jalapeño to the pan and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the belly part of the clam and cook for about 20 seconds then add the remaining clam strips, black beans, ginger, and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or until clams are lightly cooked. Meanwhile, mix the lemon juice, soy and cornstarch together in a tiny bowl and then add to pan and quickly stir to thicken the dish up. Serve immediately.

(2009 Kathy Casey Food Studios)



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