Clams on the Half Shell

I just solidified my plans for an upcoming trip to my friend’s house in Cape Cod and all the talk around fresh seafood and clam chowder got me in the mood for something that originated in the ocean. When I got to the fish market, they were selling clams and oysters on the half shell, and I decided to pick up some littleneck and cherrystone clams myself. At first, I wanted to fry them, but since I have been living of Bugles and iced coffee this week, I chose to err on the healthier side and do my own raw bar.

Yes, I know what you are thinking and, yes, eating raw clams and oysters is weird. They look like gross blobs of fat, and you have to slurp them down. It contradicts most dinning etiquette and eating raw food feel primal at best. But, I eat sushi and once my friend Molly introduced them to me at Fatty Crab, I got over it.

Clams on the Half Shell

Raw clams, especially cherrystones, can be a bit tougher than raw oysters but are still light, briny and refreshing to eat. I paired mine with a basic mignonette sauce – a condiment of minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar that is traditionally served with raw oysters.

After throwing together the sauce, I spooned it over the clams and ate the delicious, freaky looking, globular item in front of me. Très clammy.

Clams on the Half Shell

Know this: When working with mollusks, it is important to make sure that they are fresh. Cracked or open shells indicate a dead mollusk and should be discarded, incinerated, or whatever. Just don’t eat it. After shucking, place the clams or oysters on the half shell on a bed of ice to keep fresh until ready to eat.

Basic Mignonette


By Evan Kalman
Yields 12 clams

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon shallots – finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon italian parsley – minced
  • Freshly ground pepper

Steps

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and chill. Serve with clams on the half shell.

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Comments

  1. richard says

    been eating cherrystone clams with (or without) lemon for 70 years. Sushi for 60 years and still love them. The bigger the better!

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