Baked clam escargot style
Clam is our family’s favorite shellfish, except for my daughter. She does not like foods that come from the sea that much. Funny, she lives by the ocean though. Clam sauce spaghetti is our go to dish when we’re in a time crunch. Clams steamed with rice wine (アサリの酒蒸し) at Maki (槙) restaurant in Tigard, Oregon is our staple order. Drinking the garlicky and oceanic flavored juice left after eating all the clams is a delightful treat. You should try it sometime.
My earliest memory associated with clam is fragmented because I was so young but I remember going on the boat to some nameless… wait, it has a name but I just couldn't recall,,,anyway a small island in Nagasaki with my cousins, aunts and uncles for clam hunting. Clams were not found under the sand but stuck to the side of rocks in the shoulder high water. You could lay on your stomach on the rock and stretch out your hands to reach them ( I couldn’t ) or go underwater to get them. I hit the jackpot of clams accidently. I got in the water to see what seemed like millions of clams clustered along the side of a huge rock! My imagination went wild all of a sudden and I was over whelmed with monstrous fear. I was out numbered for sure. I did a retraction as fast as my little feet were able then stumbled down and drunk sea water, so much for the jackpot. It was otherwise a fun outing. We had rice ball, kara age chicken, baked egg and some pickles we brought for lunch. We stopped at a tiny tobacco shop to get some ice candy (popsicle) on the way over to the boat dock. I got sea sick on the return trip, that was no fun. I wish I remembered only the good parts.
Come to think of it now, it may not really have been clams but some kind of shell fish but that does not matter, they were really tasty. I don’t have to go hunting to get shellfish anymore. They are sold fresh at Asian market. Whopping 50 cent per pound off from regular price last week. I bought a couple pounds.This recipe I adapted from Chez Shea restaurant in Seattle that has a perfect flavoring of parsley garlic butter. I didn’t have fresh parsley but I had left over carrot leaves and that was just fine. As it baked in the oven, the aroma filled the kitchen and traveled upstairs to our bedrooms like life’s little bliss,,,now where is the room deodorizer? It’s getting a little stinky in here.
Rimmed baking sheet lined with scrunched foil
- Fresh clams-I bought 2 pounds or 20-26 clams. Choose the larger size if possible.
- Water for boiling about 3 cups
- Garlic 3 cloves finely minced
- Shallots finely minced 2 Tablespoon
- Parsley or carrot leaves finely mince 2 Tablespoon
- Unsalted butter 1 cup at room temperature
- Salt 2 teaspoons
- Bread crumbs about 1/4 cup
- Fill a large bowl with clean water. Put in all the clams and leave in the water for a couple hours so clams will spit sand out. I do this mainly for my peace of mind. Scrub hard to clean the shell under running water.
- Mean while make the parsley garlic butter by combining garlic, shallots, parsley, salt, butter and salt in a bowl. Set it aside.
- Boil the pot of water and put clams in and cover. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Take out only the ones that opened and discard the water and unopened clams.
- Wait a few minutes for the clams to cool down and remove the meat from the shell.
- Separate shells in half and put 20 to 26 of clams shell on the prepared pan.
- Heat oven to 450F
- Put clam meat in the selected shells then top with butter mixture (you don’t have to use all the butter).
- Sprinkle with bread crumbs on top then bake for 6-8 minutes till they turn a golden color.
Verdict: Its hard. I need more practice.