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steamer clams - how to prepare???

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  • shrimpbird Apr 23, 2005 10:40 AM
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Hi Hounds, I'm getting some steamers delivered tomorrow, and I want to fix them the traditional "bucket of steamers" way, with the broth and butter on the side. Exactly how do I proceed? Just thrown them in a pot with a little water and steam til opened and serve with the liquid from the pan for broth? Is it as simple as that? I know, wash very well first!

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  1. You may want to soak the clams in cold water with some cornstarch or flour, or cornmeal thrown in over night in the fridge (or at least a few hours)to get all the internal grit out. (This works with clams but not mussels which will drown).

    Then use a steamer insert and steam for 5 minutes max or less, just until they open.

    You don't want to put the clams into the water or they will get like rubber.

    1. Here's what I do, similar to The Rogue's technique, but with a few differences.

      Examine the clams. I toss the ones with broken shells. If the neck is lolling out and doesn't contract when you push on it, the clam is likely dead. Toss it. Rinse the clams well, cover with cold water in a bowl and sprinkle in some cornmeal, and add a bit of salt. Ocean water is my preference , but harder to come by. Let sit one hour. Rinse and drain.

      Put the clams in a pot with some water, not much. Ask the fish monger how much water for the amount you're buying, then adjust a bit downwards. Less water equals more flavorful broth. Clamp the lid on and cook just until the clams open. Keep peeking. Discard any that don't open.

      Remove open clams with a slotted spoon or strainer into waiting bowls. Strain the broth into cups. Dunking the clams into the broth will rid them of any leftover sand, which will sink to the bottom of the cup. Dunk in melted butter. Drink broth.

      Wish I had some!

      1. Thanks guys, very helpful. Pat, come on over, I'll share. I'll let you know how they come out!

        1. And if you have any leftover steamers (cooked) they make a fabulous clam chowder. My mother leaves them whole (without the shell, of course) in the chowder rather than chopping them.