How to Clean Pacific Razor Clams
Safely Clean Razor Clams Before Cooking
Pacific Razor Clams are indigenous along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California. A clam digging trip can result in a pail of these large meaty shellfish. Follow this tutorial on how to safely clean razor clams.
Let's assume the razor clams have been dug by a clammer with an up-to-date state license, in a designated razor clamming area, according to state requirements and within cited hours. There are regulations on when and where clams and other mollusks have been dug to maintain the species and to ensure the area is safe from bacteria, viruses and pollution. States pose a stiff fine for violators.
Clams should be brought home in a dry cooler covered with a wet cloth. Do not put clams directly on ice or keep submerged in water. Never store in sealed plastic bags or they will die from lack of oxygen. Unshucked or clam still in their shells can be held in refrigerator for up to 24 hours possibly a few days if very fresh. Discard any clams that have died or have broken shells. Test razor clams by touching the neck. If it moves it is still alive. If the clam is loose inside the shell it is not safe to eat.
Supplied needed include a pot of steaming water, kitchen shears or a sharp knife, spatula, a bowl of cold clean water, empty bowl, access to fresh water, a trash bag and storage plastic bags.
1. Prepare a pot of hot water. The water needs to be hot enough shock the clam enough so it can release from the shell. Put the clams into the hot water for 2-3 minutes then remove with a spatula and immerse in bowl of clean cold water. If any clams float discard and do not eat.
2. Remove the clam from the shell with your hand.
3. With knife or scissors cut off the end of the neck and discard.
4. Cut off the tail and reserve
5. Run the scissors up along the muscle into the neck and slice opening the clam fully.
6. Hold clam splayed in your hand and cut out the belly and innards. Discard.
7. Swish clam in clean water and place in bowl.
Clean away all remains of stomach, sand and loose skin around the neck and outer muscle. Rinse well. The remaining clam will be light milky white to flesh colored. This is the meat of the clam that is so delicious. Store clean clam meat in a zippered plastic bag and keep refrigerated.
Use fresh refrigerated clam meat within two days. To freeze shucked and cleaned razor clams, rinse in salt water (1 tablespoon of salt to 1 quart of water) and place in zip lock bag completely covered with salt water and any remaining reserved clam liquid. Frozen clams will last up to 3 months at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Thaw frozen clams in the refrigerator before using and never refreeze.
Cooked clams and be kept refrigerated up to 4 days. Do not freeze cooked clams or they will become rubbery. Fresh clams can be broiled, baked, fried, sautéed and made into chowders and stews.
View How to Clean Pacific Razor Clam Tutorial - an Associated Content Slideshow