Everything You Want To Know About Steaming Clams
Steaming clams is a fast and easy way to enjoy a tasty treat. Clams are mollusks that you can only find available fresh in the summertime. These soft-bodied animals housed in shells have a salty, mild taste with a chewy texture. They are found all along the seashore of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and are considered a favorite by many people.
Types Of Clams
There are four types of clams to choose from being:
- Soft-Shell Clams – These have a thin, hard shell with siphons that stick out of them.
- Hard-Shell Clams – Generally sold by size, this variety usually measures under two inches across and are eaten steamed or raw.
- Surf Clams – These are typically used in restaurants. They have large white shells that are often cut into strips.
- Razor Clams – This variety is tough and large with shells that are shaped like straight razors.
Most people who partake in steaming clams are not even aware of the many health benefits that they offer.
- Clams are so incredibly high in iron that liver doesn't even compare. Nine small cooked clams have 24 milligrams of iron.
- This delicacy is an outstanding source of potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, selenium and manganese.
- One serving of clams contains 40 milligrams of the much needed omega-3 fatty acids to achieve maximum heart health.
- There are over 20 grams of protein in a serving of clams and only two grams of fat. They actually have more protein than scallops and oysters.
- Clams contain only small amounts of cholesterol.
- For individuals on low carbohydrate diets, 3 ounces of clams has only 22 carbohydrates.
The Process Of Steaming Crabs
Things you will need for steaming clams includes:
- Unsalted butter
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ¼ tsp of thyme
- 2 slices of onion
- 2 sprigs of parsley
The first thing you will do is thoroughly inspect the clams. Place them on a dry, clean towel and loosely shuffle them. Throw away any that are open or appear abnormal by wrapping them in a bag and tossing them in the trash outside or the smell will quickly become unbearable.
Next, you will prepare the clams:
- Make a very weak brine solution of one gallon of water to 1/3 cup non-iodized salt.
- Soak the clams for roughly 18 minutes to completely remove dirt and grit from the outside and the inside.
- Pour your clams into your strainer and hold them underneath running cold water. While doing this, you will scrub them with a metal brush.
- Put the clams on a fresh clean towel and remove any leftover grit by gently rubbing them.
Now, you will place the clams into a large pot. A half cup of water to every pound of clams is the general rule. Add in the ingredients from above. It is important to note that the seasonings are really optional for steaming clams but this is how to achieve the maximum flavor.
Within 5 to 10 minutes, the clams should open their shells and if any don't, they should be thrown away. Remove the clams from the pot and put them on a dish with a bit of broth around them. Sprinkle with sea salt, garnish with lemon and serve piping hot with melted butter.
It is always recommended to throw away clams that won't open and never try to force them open. Chances are they are either filled with rotting flesh or dirt, which is why they are called mudders.
Also, you can add a bit of sea salt to the melted butter but keep in mind that this is an already salty dish since clams are from the ocean.