Nothing spells summer like clams. And coastal New England loves to celebrate with enough glitzy clambakes that even Gatsby would tire of ‘em. This summer, leave that massive endeavor with all the accoutrements (corn, sausage, potatoes, newspaper, to name a few) to the local seafood restaurant or waterfront hotel. Instead, in the comfort of your own backyard, we’re keen on befriending the narrow and aptly-named razor clams.
These often overlooked clams are meaty and packed with plenty of flavor; they cook up nicely in the sauté pan, but our vote is the forgiving grill. “I love [razor clams] for their unique texture and sweetness,” says chef Jeremy Sewall, author of The New England Kitchen. “I know a lot of fishermen and shellfish farmers who supplement their income by digging razor clams when the tide is right—sometimes as rarely as once a month, sometimes under the light of a full moon. But that’s the beauty of these animals: They are wild and finicky and always a treat.”
“Check with your local fish market or look for them online,” he says. “A good purveyor will keep you informed about availability. And, just like you would with any shellfish, make sure they’re alive when you buy them and that their shells are intact.”
Here’s Sewall’s favorite way to prepare them. Yes, there will be rendered bacon fat—you won’t be disappointed.
Chef Jeremy Sewall’s Grilled Razor Clams with Bacon and Green Garlic
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Makes 4-6 servings
30 minutes min.
30 minutes min.
- 20 medium-sized razor clams
- 1 stalk green garlic (regular garlic will do, too)
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 6 oz slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
How to make it