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, toss them on a hot grill, or sear the meat directly as in the case with these razor clams.
While you can opt for littlenecks, I suggest you go for razor. Razor clams have a delightful sweetness, unlike other clams. Butter and parsley are always classic, but I prefer something brighter and less rich like a bold chile-lime vinaigrette.
The trick to tender clams is to get a grill or pan blazing hot so they cook quickly. Once they are just cooked, take them off the heat and serve immediately.
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
- 1 zest of a lime
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (roughly chopped, plus more leaves for garnish)
- 1 Thai chile (finely minced)
- 1 clove garlic
- 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.