How do you clean and steam clams?


Quick Answer

Cleaning clams, also called purging, requires that you soak them in cold seawater for up to two days. To steam clams, bring covered water or stock to a boil, add the fresh clams, and replace the lid to let them steam until their shells open.

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How do you clean and steam clams?
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Full Answer

Letting the clams breathe before cooking removes the sand and grit they take in during feeding. Although clams breathe best in their native sea water, you can make your own by adding 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a quart of water. Leaving the clams in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight keeps sand out of your meal.

Once the clams have purged, they’re ready to steam. Clans can be steamed in 2 cups of seasoned water, but many cooks prefer to steam in buttered white wine, seafood base or vegetable stock, according to their desired flavor profile.

Add the liquid to a pan, cover with a lid and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Once the liquid is steaming heavily, add the clams and cover again. It should take about 10 minutes for the clams to steam through. Start checking at about seven minutes and remove the clams with opened shells. At the end of cooking, discard any clams that are still closed.

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