Clam Recipes

Photo: Marco Hatch.
Photo: Marco Hatch.

How Do You Cook Your Clams?

We’re big fans of clams and have added some of our favorite clam recipes here. We’re always on the lookout for new ideas and we’d love to hear how you cook your clams! Share your recipe by emailing us or tweeting us @clamgardeners and we’ll make sure it gets posted.


Thank you and Bon Appétit!

Heron Bay Clam Fritters

  • 1 cup clams, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp onion, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbs, dried

Mix. Fry in teaspoon sized bits, flattened.

Ken Lertzman’s Clam Chowder (with other seafood optional)

Slice finely and sauté in a large saucepan a large onion in olive oil with 2-3 cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, some basil, oregano, and dill.  Add and mix in well the juice of half a lemon. Add some sliced red pepper, carrots, or other vegetables to suit your taste. As the onions become clarified, add a 2-3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar and simmer till most of moisture is gone.

While the onion mix is cooking, or after setting it aside, chop 5-6 medium-large potatoes into 2 cm cubes. Boil potatoes in salted water until cooked but still firm. Add potatoes to the onion mix with enough of the potato water to cover all the ingredients in the saucepan.  If you want to make the end result thicker, use a hand blender to break up some of the potatoes with a series of short bursts.  Be careful to leave most of the chunks of potato intact.

Steam 20-30 live clams in salted water until they open. As each clam opens, transfer it to the onion-potato mix. Don’t worry about transferring empty shells, but get all the clams. Bring the entire mix to an active simmer. Add a little sherry or white wine (1/4 cup) if you’d like. Slice ½ to 1 cup of smoked salmon (hot smoked, not lox) into 1-2 cm cubes and add to the potato mix. The smoked salmon is an important step – it replaces (and improves on) the ham that some people add to their chowder.  If you want to add fresh salmon, halibut or snapper, slice into cubes and sauté lightly on each side in a little bit of soya sauce, then add to the mix.

Heat the potato mix on low and add whole milk or cereal cream (your choice how rich you want it) until the mix is distinctly milky, not watery. The end result should be 1/3 to ½ liquid by volume. Once you have added the milk or cream, be careful NOT to let the chowder come to a boil. Add salt to taste – it shouldn’t need much. Ideally, at this point, turn off the heat and let the chowder sit for 1-3 hours before reheating to serve.  Like all soups, this one is better on Day 2.



  • Adding some fin-fish to the clams is nice.
  • You can garnish the final result with fresh cilantro just before serving.
  • If you like spicy chowders, add pepper flakes or medium spicy peppers (Anaheim or similar peppers not Jalapenos or serranos) to the onion mixture as it is sautéing.

Steamed Clams

  • 2 lbs clams
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter


Melt butter and garlic in a pot and fry a couple minutes.

Place steamer in bottom of pot and fill with water until it starts to come through the steamer holes.

Bring water to a boil then add clams. Cover pot with lid and let steam until clams open fully.

Dip in garlic butter.