Clams FAQ

Chopped clams in a dish


If you crave seafood but live far from the coast, there’s nothing quite like the taste of tender meat from a saltwater clam. Clams are popularly eaten as a Christmas delicacy, but they are also used as an ingredient in international cuisines. These bivalve mollusks serve as an excellent source of low-fat protein with above-average amounts of selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and essential vitamins. If you’ve never prepared clams before, we are here to help. Explore our selection of frequently asked questions to find all the answers to your clam questions. Keep reading to learn more!

What are clams?

Clam is the common name for several kinds of bivalve mollusks, but it generally refers to those edible infaunae that spend most of their lives partially buried in the sand of the ocean floor. Clam shells consist of equal valves that are connected by a hinge joint and a ligament. The three best-known kinds of clams are soft-shelled, hard, and surf.

How do you cook shucked clams?

Whether eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked, or deep-fried to a golden brown, clams taste delicious. In America, chefs use clam meat to make clam chowder and other seafood dishes. Discard clams with open shells, as they have died and are no longer suitable to eat. You can also sauté them in butter, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley before tossing them with pasta to serve a light but tasty entrée that will please even the pickiest eaters.

How do you shuck clams?

Insert the tip of a jackknife or paring knife between the shells as close as possible to the back muscle. Rotate the clam in your hand and cut with the knife in one motion. Lift off the top shell. Insert the knife at the back of the bottom shell and rotate it in your palm, gently cutting beneath the meat. Clams are easier to open when they are chilled.

How do you prepare frozen clams?

Most recipes call for thawed clams, and you can easily thaw your clams by placing them in the refrigerator. Rinse the clam meat in cool water to remove any sand or grit. Drain the clams thoroughly in a mesh strainer before cooking.

How do you reheat clams?

Steamed clams can be reheated in the microwave, but you should check the clams regularly to avoid overcooking. Reheat the clams at 45-second intervals until warm, and then serve immediately.

If you can’t find the answer to your question or would like to learn more about the selection of fresh or frozen clams at Wholey’s Market, please contact us today to speak with a customer service representative for further assistance.