How To Clean Clams: An Essential Guide


Clams are perfect for summer menus. These sea gems are often paired with spaghetti, added to soups or sautéed with garlic. While they are delicious, sand and grit can get stuck between the shells and be quite difficult to remove. Never fear, however, as Fine Dining Lovers is here to help!

We share two different methods of cleaning clams that yield excellent results. So keep these tips in mind next time you intend to prepare a seafood feast:


Ever experience that annoying feeling of sand between your teeth? Unpleasant, don't you think? Well, know that the first step in cleaning clams is to purge them of sand. There are various ways to do it and we'll guide you through the process.

Once you have discarded the broken or open clams - which could have a bad taste - tap each individual clam on a cutting board, so that the first residuals of sand come out; then transfer them in a colander placed on a large bowl or container. Make sure that it does not touch the bottom of the sink. Rinse the clams under running water and rub them a bit to loosen any debris. If you prefer, you can let them soak in cold water, changing it under it runs clear.


Another popular method for ridding clams of sand is to let them soak in water with coarse salt: the latter will re-create the "sea water" effect and make the clams start to purge.

To clean sand off the clams you will need: - clams (about 1/2 kg, 1 lb) - 5 tablespoons of salt - 5 tablespoons of coarse salt

Begin by placing the clams in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Then add the salt and let it rest for at least an hour. After the time has passed, repeat the operation and add the coarse salt. Let the clams drain for another hour and a half.

In general, it is advisable to clean the clams in the afternoon of the day you intend to have them for dinner. In fact, it will take about a couple of hours to purge the clams of the sand residue that may ruin your meal. Once you have cleaned your clams, run them under cold running water one last time. Finally, your clams will be ready to be cooked to perfection.


To cook the clams, equip yourself with a large pot. Coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic. Place the clams in the pot and cover with a lid. Cook at high heat until all the clams open. Discard any that did not open. Voila! Your clams are ready to be enjoyed, perhaps in a nice plate of spaghetti, stirred into a black risotto or added to a tasty seafood salad.


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