Cleaning clams before steaming requires that the clams be shaken to loosen any sand held inside their shells, rinsed, covered in a solution of warm salt water and left to soak and then drained and rinsed again. This process readies clams completely for the steaming process, though they can also be stored for up to 2 days if so desired.
Clams that release sand should be removed from the container. This prevents them from taking in sand from other clams that are shaken.
- Shake and rinse
- Cover and soak
- Drain and rinse
First the clams must be placed in a container and shaken to free up and release any excess sand still contained in their shells. Once all sand has been expelled, the clams should be rinsed in cool water until they are clean and no more sand is produced when they are shaken.
Clams should then be placed in a solution of warm water and salt with 2 tablespoons of salt added for each quart of water used. The clams must be allowed to soak for 40 minutes before being removed.
The clams must be drained thoroughly so that no more liquid remains trapped in their shells. Once this is done they must be rinsed again with cold water to cleanse any remaining salt.