If there’s one dish that embodies the sea, it’s clams. They are briny, versatile, and cooking them couldn’t be easier — just steam them in a skillet with a little wine or toss them on a hot grill. While you can opt for littlenecks, I suggest you go for razor. Razor clams have a delightful sweetness, unlike other clams. Butter and parsley is always a classic, but I prefer something brighter and less rich like a bold chile-lime vinaigrette.
I highly suggest investing in a Microplane. Grated garlic is far more pungent than sliced or chopped garlic. Use this to your advantage. A single clove can add bite, and in this case, contrasts the tart yet spicy vinaigrette and the sweetness of the clams.
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Razor Clams with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 dozen razor clams
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp more for drizzling
- 1 tsp chile oil
- Zest of 1 lime, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
- 1 Thai chile, finely minced
- 1 garlic clove
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl of cold water, soak the razor clams for 10 minutes. Pre-heat a large cast-iron pan over very high heat for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbsp of olive oil, chile oil, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, Thai chile, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the clams from the water and shuck them by dislodging the meat from both sides of the shell. Place the meat on a work surface and remove the siphon, gills, and digestive track (all the dark parts). Kitchen sears make the job quick and easy. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.
Sear the clams in the hot plan, gentling pressing with a spatula to brown, about 2 minutes. Do not flip the clams — this will ensure a good sear and prevent overcooking.
Transfer the clams to a serving platter and drizzle the chile-lime vinaigrette over the top. Scatter the cilantro leaves and a pinch of salt over the clams and serve.