Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Open Clams

I'm back!  Well, I've been back since Monday, but I've been crazy busy getting the house in order and ready for school to start back up next week.  Oh, and working like crazy!

It was definitely nice to have a break away from it all and to hang out with a big bunch of our friends.

Anyway, I've been in a really big how-to mode lately, so here's another one.  I promise I'll get back to recipes soon enough!

I know what you're thinking.  Why on Earth would I want to open up a clam when I can just steam the sucker and have it open up on it's own?  Well... personally, I don't like picking through clam shells in a dish.  If it's just a bowl of clams, then yeah, that's okay.  But if I'm having a bowl of pasta and clam shells keep me from just shoveling it all in my mouth (attractive, right?), then opening these bad boys up before hand is a useful task!

A lot of people prefer to have an actual clam knife for the job, but I find a normal butter knife does well in a pinch.  Especially if you don't have clams very often, it would be pointless to run out and buy a clam knife for a once a year task.  Right?  Right.

It's also a lot easier to do if you rinse the clams under cold water, then place them back in the refrigerator for about an hour so they have time to "relax" - their shells won't be so tightly sealed.  Alright, so let's get to it.

#1.  Hold the oyster in the palm of your hand, with your thumb on the "bump" of the clam gently holding it down.  Place the blade of your butter or clam knife in between the clam shells, and with the same hand you're holding it with, gently, but forcefully push the knife through the shells.


#2. Pull the knife through until it cuts through the muscle.  Twist the knife to pry the shells apart and slide along the top shell to cut the other muscle.  Break the shell free from the hinge and discard.


#3.  Use the knife to release the clam from the bottom shell.  And voila, shelled clams! 

Do you shell your clams?  Or do you not mind rooting through the shells in a dish?


  1. Loving all your tutorials, Peggy! Keep them coming!

  2. Another great tutorial Peggy, You is good teacher.