Raw Littleneck / Cherrystone Clams – Helpful Hint

I have to thank Dad for this one.  I have no idea if he learned this elsewhere, or if he discovered it on his ownsome.  This was just something he just DID.

Procure your Fresh-in-the-Shell littleneck or cherrystone clams, and put them directly into your freezer. (DISCARD any clams already open before you do that — they’re dead, and we don’t know how long, why, or anything else.)  Just DITCH those!!!  I do recommend you live near a coastal area, because freshness is CRITICAL.

Keep them there at least four days.  But less than four months.

The adductor muscle on the clam is what keeps these things hard to open. If you want raw clams, you’ll have to spend a bit of time and energy opening them at whatever gathering you are at — but if you happen on littlenecks in advance, this freezer thing really works. Yes, they freeze and die, but you know what is happening, and that they weren’t already open and dead.

Pull them out — let them thaw in your fridge — in 2-3 hours they should thaw, and there will be a nice gap in the bivalve parts of the shell that a knife with no effort will be able to break apart.

I did try using some clams at the two-day mark once, but they weren’t ready for the adductor muscle to soften enough at that point. It seems to take at least three days, and I’d recommend four:  and then the shells are So Much Easier to Open.  And if any of those don’t open on their ownsome:  DISCARD.

A little horseradish, a splash of lime or lemon, a drizzle of mignonette, or a dab of hot sauce goes well with them.  I’ve even toyed with wasabi.  In a pinch… au naturel!

Raw littleneck clams

A passle of Raw Littleneck Clams, ready for Eating — I opened some of these further before taking the photo.  

Raw Littleneck Clams

Two of the clams, raw but gaping after being frozen and thawed, without assistance from me.

Next thing  to do: test this on oysters! I am not holding my breath, as oysters are really, really close-mouthed!  I’ll just buy a couple — they’re pricey — and see.

PS:  this is one of those recipes I wrote up a year or three ago, but never got around to publishing.  But it does work.

cat trio kitchen cropped-

Obi-Wan, Serenity, Orion, the three free-loading household cats.
They need to do something about the garage mice…

Oh, yes… if you are in the US, don’t forget to vote today, if you haven’t already!!!

Heres to:  Blurred Living Link Up

Homestead Blog Hop

Full Plate Thursday

Fiesta Friday, with co-hosts: Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog. and well, me, Diann @ Of Goats and Greens

What’s For Sunday Supper? Link Up.  



About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Seafood and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Raw Littleneck / Cherrystone Clams – Helpful Hint

  1. Fiesta Friday #249


  2. What a clever hack Diann! I love that it came from your Dad too. I have a confession to make, I have never even so much as eaten one clam! I know I’m supposed to be well travelled foodie wise but the fact remains that I am a clam virgin. However if I ever find them in my kitchen I will know exactly how to handle them. Genius! Thank you for co hosting with me on #FiestaFriday

  3. I think we have some kinds of clams in the lakes and rivers out here in Minnesota, but no one ever eats them as far as I know. Probably for the best with all the farming run-off. So I’m not that familiar with clams except for some I’ve picked up for clam chowder but I have to say your photos make them look so good! I found my own answer: All of Minnesota’s 50 species of mussels/clams are protected by law, and 20 are endangered or threatened species.

    Your cats are gorgeous, btw! What three beauties. I guess if you look that good, you don’t need to catch your own dinner. My little yellow fluffy ball of fur, Homer, thinks so! She’s purely decoration, lol!

    • Yes, regarding lake and stream clams…. although I have no idea if the zebra mussel (an invasive) is edible or not… Fortunately I don’t think it has reached Minnesota yet.

      Yep, my adorable fluff balls do continue to earn their keep by their good looks and their ability (especially Serenity) to purr.

  4. Miz Helen says:

    My husband loves clams and these are very helpful suggestions that we will sure use in the future. We are inland and don’t get fresh ones very often. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Lesa says:

    What a great tip! Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!

  6. I’ve tried raw clams and oysters before, just one or two, because that’s what you do when you’re with a bunch of friends. Who kept insisting! Actually, I think it was my brother in law. Anyway, I think clams taste better than oysters raw. Thanks for cohosting, Diann! <3<3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s