Razor Clams

I can’t believe I’ve yet to write anything about these.  Maybe because they are so simple?

Back in Maine in the 70s, we used to catch the occasional razor clam in sandy waters, when we were looking for the more stationary hen clams at low tide.  We never caught that many; they’re built to get away if they sense you coming.  They got their name from the old fashioned razors our grandfathers, or perhaps our great-grandfathers used to use.

Prior to cooking

Anyhow one of our local groceries occasionally brings them in on Fridays, from Rhode Island.  They are the sweetest of the clams, and usually quite tender, with a non-mushy texture.  I’ve only heard of cooking them; I have no idea if they could be eaten raw or not.

1 pound razor clams (check for freshness — if they withdraw their foot when you tap them, they’re alive.  Also, the shells should be closed, although they won’t close as tightly as, say, cherrystones.)
2-3 slices of lemon or lime.   (Lime makes for better photos.)

Get the hot water boiling on your range (what they now call cook-tops in kitchen lit) in a mid-sized pot, and toss in the clams.

Let the water come back to a boil, and reduce the temperature when the water starts with that heavy frothing thing.  Make sure the foam doesn’t overflow, by lifting the pot for a moment from the element if you need to.  Allow to simmer another 30-40 seconds, then drain.  The shells will be fully open, and some of the clams will probably be no longer connected to the shell.

Serve with the lemon or lime slices, in the shell, still piping hot.  Eat with your fingers.

After the boil

OR:

Remove the little guys from their shells, and cut them into half-inch segments, and allow to cool.  Serve in a salad.  Dress with a little extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and ground pepper.

Yum.

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