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Nov 24, 2008 01:06 PM

cleaning/purging mussels and clams

I'm going to do mussels and clams over the next few days. I love them but really hate the grit in some of the mussels and clams. What is the best way to get the grits/sand out of mussels and clams.

Note I do scrub each on but the issue is the sand and grit inside the animal.


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  1. A trick my family has employed for getting clams clean is to place them in a large container/bowl, cover with water, and sprinkle a bunch of black pepper on top. Apparently, the pepper irritates the clams and they "spit" out sand. I have also heard of people using corn meal - I assume for the same reason.

    1. I usually just soak them for a few hours in cool salted water

      1. we put them in a shallow dish covered with water and sprinkle corn meal into it. leave in refrigerator overnight. the yellow corn meal will have lots of waste flakes in the morning. (my wife cannot stand the grit in a clam!)

        1. I never have a problem with mussels and have never cooked clams. Would soaking them for a few hours kill them?

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarah galvin

            have never cooked mussels. but do clams on a regular basis and soaking overnight does not damage them. as a matter of fact, when we pull the pan out of the fridge, they are often open and start closing as soon as they are disturbed.