The Weird & Wonderful Razor Clam!

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

A rare and unusual treat that we love have been popping up lately— Razor Clams from Ipswich on Cape Cod. With a long shell shaped like a straight razor and a foot that’s as long as its body, it’s one weird looking critter.

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These clams are not easy to catch. Hunting for them at low tide, you look for a keyhole shaped opening in the sand and you know a Razor Clam is hiding below. Getting them out is another story, they are incredibly fast, faster than a human’s ability to keep up with them. One tricky way to catch them is to pour salt into their hole—they don’t like that. When they pop up to escape the salt you can nab it.

Besides being super-fast burrowers, they’re also amazingly good swimmers. At high tide they come out and swim around. They distend their foot in and out, flap their shell and move along quite beautifully, feeding often near the surface.

Some of the reasons that these clams are rare at market is because harvesting is difficult and they are very brittle, fragile, don’t travel well and are very perishable. Our razor clam supplier gives us a heads-up whenever they have them but unfortunately that is not often enough. If you ever see these clams on our ice you’ve got to try them! Sweet and tender they are one of our finest clams (when we can get our hands on them). Steam them in white wine, garlic and parsley or spoon them out of the shell, dust in seasoned flour and sautée or fry. In Japan they are grilled on a habachi basted with soy sauce. We grilled some Japanese style the other night and we also basted some with olive oil and garlic. Both styles were amazing. Here’s a recipe.

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Monahan's Seafood

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