How You Should Clean Clams, According To Adam Richman

From clam chowder to the classic clams casino, the flavorful bivalve needs to be thoughtfully prepared prior to being thrown into the pan. Although many people might know what a clam looks like, Fishkeeping Folks does a deep dive into the shellfish bivalve. Since the clams do not attach themselves to a rock, they use their surroundings to avoid being dinner for other animals. The combination of burying themselves in the sand for protection to being a filter feeder (consuming food and filtering out the unnecessary components) can make them a little dirty. Those scenarios mean that clams need to be well-cleaned before they are consumed.

According to MasterClass, clams need to be well-cleaned prior to consumption. While the story of the piece of grit turning into a beautiful pearl can make people smile, no one wants to consume sand in their dish. Even before that shellfish is well-scrubbed, one word of caution should be followed. Fresh clams are alive, which means they should be tightly closed. Open, cracked, or damaged seafood should be discarded and not eaten. Although the idea of eating food that fights back might be counterintuitive, Adam Richman, of "Man vs. Food" fame, has some straightforward ideas which ensure the briny, sea-forward aroma coming from the prep bowl safely arrives on the plate.

What is the first step in cleaning clams?

In a Today article, Adam Richman offers some easy-to-follow tips to clean clams. After ensuring that the clams are alive, Richman recommends soaking the clams in cool water with either salt or cornmeal for 20 to 30 minutes. While that liquid does not have to be as briny as the sea, it can help to remove the grit, sand, or other unwanted items that the clam might have filtered while alive. As the clams ingest the cornmeal or salt, it pushes out the other unwanted items, like the sand. When removed from the water, there should be some grit, grime, or gunk left behind and that is a good thing.

Also, Richman encourages cooks to scrub the outside of the clam with a stiff brush. He says that the heat from a grill will burn off any unwanted debris. But, for other recipes, it is best to ensure that both the outside and inside of the clams are well-prepped. After all, no one wants to taste unwanted seasoning in those tasty clam recipes.

What clams recipes does Adam Richman recommend?

With a bounty of cleaned, delicious seafood waiting to be enjoyed, Adam Richman served up two tasty clam recipes that showcase the delightful brininess of the bivalve. When discussing the simplicity of this grilled little neck clams recipe, Richman recalled the freshness of the clams which were enjoyed soon after they came off the boat. As seen in his recipe, this dish is about celebrating the clams without overpowering the seafood. The heat from the grill imparts a little flavor, and the squeeze of lemon adds a bright acidic note to balance the brininess.

Another idea Richman recommends is a hearty baked clams recipe. While this concept recalls the Italian dinners growing up, he learned to appreciate this bread-forward dish that still had some seafood at its core. While his recipe swaps Hawaiian or potato rolls for Italian breadcrumbs, the key to this dish is the balance of flavor and texture. For people who might be just learning to love clams, this dish might be a great entry point.