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Ah Shucks - Where can I buy raw, shucked clams?

O.K., so I'm craving fried clams, but I really don't want to spend the money it costs these days for a plate. I'd like to try to make my own - I'm headed out to Haymarket for some fruits & veggies Friday, & if I can get some clams (raw & shucked) nearby, for a reasonable price, I'd be a very happy hound. (Never bought any fish or seafood at the Haymarket stands, and don't know (a.) if they have any, and (b.) if I trust them. If I get a rotten plum or tomato, I can cut the rotten part off, or throw the whole thing away... but with seafood...

Anything within walking distance from Haymarket would be good - hopefully nothing that's going to break the bank (especially since I've never made fried clams before - they could end up getting thrown out for the sea gulls!).

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  1. You're not far from James Hook on Northern Ave. They generally have steamer clams...$4-5/lb...which is what you want for frying. Not sure if they sell them shucked..if not, here's a link that should help. You want to buy "soft shelled"

    http://www.ehow.com/how_3980_shuck-cl...

    If you don't want to open them, you can make steamers..:)

    1 Reply
    1. re: 9lives

      Thanks for mentioning James Hook. I think I went there years ago.

      I do a lot of cooking, make lots of stuff from scratch - but I definitely don't want to shuck clams, and steamers just aren't a favorite of mine - unless it's just been that I haven't tasted really good steamers, of course.

    2. Shucked frying clams are generally sold by the half-gallon and gallon for wholesale purposes (eg restaurant) which are rarely broken up for retail sale. You probably want a pint or less of whole clams, which are more common to find frozen (not big bellies, imported from canada I would guess). I have seen half-pints of fresh shucked oysters from time to time at Courthouse and they use the gallon clams in the restaurant, so you might be able to talk them into selling a pint (call first as its not walking distance). At Hooks, I think your choices are shuck or buy by the gallon.

      8 Replies
      1. re: itaunas

        Wouldn't mind buying by the half galllon or gallon - depending on the price (mmm- thinking pasta w/clam sauce...). Frozen would probably be smarter, if it doesn't change the flavor of the clams.

        I used to go to a great place to buy my fish/seafood near Newmarket Sq. (trying to remember the name) but without a car, it would take forever to get there.

        1. re: threedogs

          wait,,, what?
          you're balking at paying the $20 for a plate of deep fried ocean goodness done by professionals and now you're ponying up for a gallon of clams?

          i hear ya if you wanna get your technique down at home but it seems like the long way around the block.

          i'd go to the Clam Box in Ipswichand be done and happy with it. very happy.

          1. re: ScubaSteve

            No car, no car, no car... should have clarified - don't want to pay that much for a mediocre plate. Would LOVE to go to the clam box, but can't right now.

            If I got a half gallon that I could freeze (that is, for a reasonable price), that would last a long time, many meals. Could share with my family. Not the long way around the block at all. However, if I go to a typical retail place, it would be dear, I'm sure.

            Just remembered the name of the place near Newmarket Square - Cram's Seafood! Got some decent deals from him (the owner is real nice, too), but from where I am now, it would take forever to get there. If clams are just too expensive right now (wholesale), he'd tell me to hold off.

            1. re: threedogs

              If you're at Haymarket and have a fried clam craving, you're not far from the Sail Loft on Atlantic Ave.

              I don't claim it's the best restaurant in the world but they do a pretty good version of fried clams.(not North Shore clam shack great) The app size is a good taste and only $10-11. Full plate for a little more. Chowder is tasty but too thick for my taste..add an ice cube or 2..:)

              Convenient, reasonable price and good

              1. re: 9lives

                I'll keep the Sail Loft in mind, just in case I decide not to attempt my own (for now). There's a few places here in my own community (the lovely city of Lynn, sans sin..) I've been thinking of trying, too - one I did try before, but it was years ago.

                Then there is also good ol' Christie's Seafood, (hey, I DID go there, too, come to think of it - must have been more than thirty [yikes] years ago!). They have been trying to sell the place, (had an unsuccessful attempt to get a CVS sale O.K.'d by the city, of all things. Argh!), so I'm not too sure if their food is great - and I haven't found any write-ups, except for one obvious advertisement from years past.

                1. re: threedogs

                  Just got back from Hook's..clam/corn chowder for dinner..:)

                  They do sell frozen, shucked frying clams in 1 lb containers for $15..looks like a 1 qt container.

                  5 min walk from Haymarket.

                  Might make sense to call them in the AM and ask them to hold 1 for you.

          2. re: threedogs

            Pasta w/clams are generally made with hard shell clams..littlenecks, cherrystones..aka quahogs...also clams served raw on the 1/2 shell

            Fried clams/steamers are generally made with soft shell clams...slightly different animal.

            1. re: 9lives

              Thanks, 9lives - didn't realize that. Clams aren't something I usually (obviously!) use in my cooking.

        2. I think I have seen shucked clams in small quantities at Morse Fish on Washington St in the South End. I would give them a call first. I am only about 65% sure that it is where I saw them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jules127

            The South End is too difficult for me to reach, unless I have another reason to go there. But it's good to know, just in case I'm in the area at some point.

          2. This is not exactly what you want for this purpose but I do buy Sam's Clams in the frozen food case at Whole foods. I know the supplier from my years in RI and trust them. They make a great clam chowder or stuffies.

            I usually have a pint in my freezer as a basic staple.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BostonZest

              I have a Whole Foods close by - I'll check it out. Thanks.

            2. I was going to say that they sell clams by the pint in groceries but I realize now that I am thinking of oysters.

              mmmm, fried oysters

              1 Reply
              1. re: FrankJBN

                Fried oysters... that sounds good, too. Man, I'm hungry...