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Fried Clam Question

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I love fried, whole-belly clams. Finally, as part of my bucket list I decided to do this at home. I bought a few pounds of fresh steamers, did the usual cleaning and shelling and found that removing the skin on the foot was quite difficult.

I know one can buy them shucked, but I am wondering whether they remove the skin, and if they do, is there an easy way?

I asked the fishmonger at my local supermarket how they prepare their whole bellies for frying, and the said they bought them breaded and frozen.

Now I'm wondering whether it really makes any difference whether the skin is removed. Once they're breaded and fried, does it really matter?

The next time we order them at our favorite restaurant, I will definitely peel away the breading to see if the skin is still there.

In the meantime, your thoughts? Have you fried them either way? If so, is there any difference?

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  1. i eat the skin all the time. it does not matter. if you want to do it use a paring knife and scrape up the sides till its loose

    1. Did you blanch them and the put them in a quick ice bath before shucking?

      I think you'd be hardpressed to find a restaurant/clam shack that shucks their own clams. Most are commercially shucked.

      1. Here's a good video on how to clean steamer (soft shell) clams for frying:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVaBSt...

        I like her salad spinner technique.

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          1. I dig my own clams, and then fry them. I take the neck skins off like doing tomato's. Put a few at at a time in boiling water for 30-45 seconds and then put in ice water bath so the insides don't cook. The necks will slid off like eating steamers.
            Dip the clams in evaporated milk, then a corn or white flour to fry........