RECIPE TITLE "Panfried Razor Clams with Bread Crumbs, Herbs, and
Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest
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Most of the razor clams that you find in stores or fish markets are already shelled, cleaned, and packaged. These clams come from Washington or Alaska and have likely been frozen due to their high perishability. Razor clams by nature are slightly chewy or tough and may need to be tenderized. At Wildwood, we use two methods to tenderize them. One is to place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them lightly with the back of a knife or a meat tenderizer before breading them. The second method, which involves soaking the clams in buttermilk, is used in the following recipes. The buttermilk has an enzyme that assists in tenderizing the clams and also works as the liquid to allow the bread crumbs to adhere to the clams.
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 12 razor clams, scrubbed, cleaned, and split
- 1½ cups finely ground fresh bread crumbs (about 3 slices
thick sourdough or Italian bread, crust removed, ground in a food
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- About 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, halved
Pour the buttermilk into a shallow pan and place the razor clams
in the buttermilk to soak for 3 hours.
Remove the clams from the buttermilk and drain for 5 minutes. In
a shallow bowl, combine the crumbs, parsley, tarragon, chives, salt,
and pepper. Dip a clam into the bread-crumb mixture and coat thoroughly
on both sides. Place the clam on a wire rack to allow the coating
to set, about 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining clams.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium
heat. Put 3 clams in the skillet. Cook for about 20 seconds, or
until they begin to brown, then turn and cook on the other side
for 20 seconds, or until the edges of the clams begin to curl up.
It is important to cook the clams quickly so that they do not become
tough. Place the cooked clams on a serving plate and keep warm in
a low oven. Repeat the process with the remaining clams, adding
more oil as necessary.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the clams and serve immediately.