Shellfish recipes

Clam digging success
There's not a lot of tools needed for a successful day of clam digging, and mainly consists of a small garden rake and bucket. Paul Kim Paul Kim

We are lucky to live in Washington where you're able to forage delicious, healthy seafood from publicly owned tidelands.

With over 350 open areas and about 275 low tides per year, there are endless opportunities to harvest on public lands. Bivalve shellfish are a nutritious local protein.

Puget Sound tidelands and coastal beaches host many varieties of clams. Razor clams are only found on the outer coast because they require a high wave energy and a sandy beach to survive, and the recreational season usually occurs in fall through spring of each year. In Puget Sound and Hood Canal there is a plethora of delicious species to discover.

Here we’ve gathered a wide variety of delightful recipes to provide tips and advice on how to cook local shellfish that you can either gather along beaches or simply purchase from Washington seafood retailers.

You can find Washington-harvested shellfish in markets near you with the help of Local Catch, a network of supported commercial fisheries and small-scale harvesters and visit the Where to buy Washington seafood page for more information. Many of our favorite recipes can be found at Seafood Nutrition Partnership and the Washington Sea Grant has a suite of local Washington seafood recipes.

Gathering and consuming wild plants, mushrooms, seaweed or shellfish includes inherent risks, including potential for misidentification or allergic reaction. These contents are suggestions for a safe and fun day in the field—they are not a guarantee of safety or intended as legal guidance. Always review relevant landowner and harvest regulations and consult with additional resources before harvesting and consuming wild plants, mushrooms, seaweed or shellfish (including Washington Department of Health guidelines).

The Simplest Steamed Clams

Clams on the beach
A pair of clams gathered from a local beach.

Ingredients

4 doz. clams in shell

2 cups boiling water

Melted butter

Directions

Wash clams thoroughly, cover with cold salt water, ½ cup salt to 1 gallon of water, let stand 15 minutes, rinse, and repeat two more times. Place in large kettle, add the water and bring to a boil. Keep covered. Reduce heat and steam for 10 minutes or until clams open. Drain clams and reserve the liquor. Serve hot in shells with melted butter. Strain liquor through cloth to remove sand, if any, and serve hot in cups. Serves 6-8.

Drunken Steamers

Picture of Manila Clams
A nice batch of Manila clams gathered on a Hood Canal beach.

Recipe by Camille Speck, a WDFW shellfish biologist.

Ingredients

1 limit of steamers, purged and well-scrubbed

1 (or more) lime(s)      

4-6 cloves of minced garlic

½ cup chopped cilantro                          

2 tbsp. butter

Loaf of good crusty bread, like baguette

1 large shot of tequila                                                       

Directions

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Sautee garlic, but don’t let it get too brown or it is bitter. Add clams in the shell and toss to coat with butter and garlic. Add shot of tequila and cover pot. Allow to steam for 6-8 minutes, until clams are open. Remove from heat, dust with cilantro and juice from half the lime. (You can use more lime juice if you want more lime flavor.)  Remove clams with a slotted spoon. Serve clams with individual bowls of the pot liquor for dipping. Garnish with slices of lime. Serves two.

Simple Clam Chowder

Mom and daughter digging steamer clams on a beach
Mom and daughter digging steamer clams on a beach. Shannon Haywood Shannon Haywood

Ingredients

2 tbsp diced bacon or salt pork

1-pint clams and liquid

½ cup chopped onion

1 can evaporated milk

1 cup diced raw potatoes     

3 tbsp butter

2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

Directions

Sauté pork or bacon until crisp. Remove scraps from pan and reserve for use later as a garnish. Add chopped onion to hot fat, sauté until tender but do not brown. Combine cooked onion and diced potatoes in a deep saucepan. Add water, bring to a simmer and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir in clams and all other ingredients. Heat until piping hot, but do not boil. Serves 6.

New England Clam Chowder

Native littleneck clams
Native littleneck clams gathered on a beach.

Ingredients

1 pint of clams or 1 pound of fillets or steaks

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup chopped bacon or salt pork

Dash pepper

¼ cup chopped onion

2 cups milk

1 cup clam liquor or water

Chopped parsley

1 cup diced potatoes

Directions

Drain clams and save liquor. Chop. Cut shellfish into ½ inch cubes. Fry bacon until lightly browned. Add onion and cook until tender. Add liquor, potatoes, seasonings, and seafood. Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk, heat. Garnish with parsley sprinkled over the top. Serves 6.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Picture of a butter clam
A nice butter clam gathered on a local beach.

Ingredients

1 pint of clams and liquid

1 can (20 oz.) tomatoes

½ cup diced bacon

1 tsp. salt

1 medium onion, chopped

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 cup diced raw potatoes     

1/8 tsp. thyme

2 cups water

½ bay leaf

Directions

Sauté bacon in large saucepan until crisp. Add onion and fry for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add potato, bay leaf and water. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until hot, but do not boil. Serves 6.

Clam Fritters

Picture of a butter clam
A nice butter clam gathered on a local beach.

Good with butter, horse, or cockle clams.

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup milk

2 tsp. baking powder

½ cup clam liquid

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs

Dash of pepper

24 (1-2 cups) chopped clams

Directions

Sift dry ingredients; add milk, clam liquid and eggs. Mix well; add clams. Drop by spoonfuls onto well-greased griddle. Fry until golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings.

Clam Patties

Picture of a horse clam
There are many types of clams found on local beaches including the horse clam.

Good with butter, horse, or cockle clams.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups minced clams

¼ tsp. pepper

2 cups cooked, mashed potatoes

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

2 eggs slightly beaten

½ tsp. salt

Directions

Drain minced clams and combine with mashed potatoes, butter, salt, and lemon juice. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Shape into 12 paddies of equal size and fry in hot fat until lightly browned on both sides. Serves 6.

Horse Clam Ceviche

Picture of a horse clam
There are many types of clams found on local beaches including the horse clam.

Can substitute a geoduck siphon.

Ingredients

2 cups chopped raw horse clam siphon; membrane removed

½ cup chopped green onion

½ cup minced red onion

1 minced jalapeno (seed removed)

1 medium papaya cut into ½” cubes

Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh lime juice

1 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Tortilla chips for dipping

Directions

Quarter siphons lengthwise, then slice as thinly as possible.  Marinate in enough lime juice to cover for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and serve immediately with tortilla chips. Bowl may be served sitting in ice. 

Old Fashioned Clam Bake

Manila clams
A nice batch of Manila clams harvested on a local beach.

Ingredients/Materials

Variety of shellfish (amount depends on number of people served)

Clams

Mussels

Shrimp

Red and gold potatoes (scrubbed and cleaned)

Unhusked ears of corn

Red onions

Smoked sausage is optional

Halves of chicken or lobster

Garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Wet seaweed

Chicken wire

Tarpaulin

Stones

Shovel

Directions

Dig a large hole; line it with wet stones (taken from the water) and build a hot fire in the pit. Let the stones heat for 2 or 3 hours. Shovel out the hot coals and place a layer of wet seaweed in the pit. Cover it with chicken wire, and then add another layer of seaweed. Put in the clams

Often potatoes and unhusked ears of corn are added to the pit. Cover again with seaweed and finally a tarpaulin. Weigh down the edges of the tarp with stones, and then shovel a little sand over the top of the tarp.

Allow to steam for approximately 2 hours. Halves of chicken and lobster are sometimes added to the clam bake. Serve bowls or cups of hot clam chowder as the first course and watermelon for dessert.

Creamy Steamer Clam Pie

Picture of Manila Clams
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches and two of the most abundant are Manila and littleneck clams.

Ingredients

1 limit steamer clams (40 clams)

¼ tsp. dry mustard

1 ½ cup water

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup butter      

1 cup reserved clam liquor

½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup half & half

2 tbsp. minced onion

1 tbsp. lemon juice

¼ cup flour

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

⅛ tsp. hot pepper sauce

2 tbsp. chopped pimento or red bell pepper

½ cup cooked bacon crumbles (optional)

1 egg, beaten

Pastry for 9” pie crust (top)

Directions

Wash clams thoroughly. Place clams in a large pot with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until clams open. Remove clams from shells and cut into fourths. Reserve 1 cup of the clam liquor from the pot. In a skillet, melt butter. Add mushrooms and onion; cook until tender. Stir in flour, mustard, hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Gradually add clam liquor and half & half.

Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in lemon juice, parsley, pimento and clams and bacon crumbles. Pour mixture into a 9 inch round deep-dish pie plate, about 2 inches deep. 

Roll out pastry dough and place on top of mixture in pie plate. Secure dough to the rim of the pie plate by crimping edges. Vent pastry. Brush with beaten egg.  Bake in a hot 375° F oven for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is browned. Serves 6

Baked Stuffed Butter Clams

Picture of a butter clam
Butter clams can be found on many Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches.

Adapted from American Seafood Institute.

Ingredients

12 large butter clams

¼ cup melted butter, plus 2 tbsp

¼ cup chopped onions

1 tsp salt

½ cut chopped mushrooms

Black pepper to taste

3 tbsp flour

½ cup dry breadcrumbs

Directions

Shuck clams and clean meat, cutting black tip off siphon. Wash shells thoroughly. Leave shells in “butterfly” condition, twisting the hinges so they will lay flat. Chop clams.

Cook onion and mushrooms in 2 tbsp butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasoning. (Seasoning can be varied with addition of curry powder, Italian spice blend, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, etc.)

Add chopped clams and cook until flour is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Grease clam shells arrange on a cookie sheet or shallow baking dish. Fill each shell half with stuffing. Blend melted butter and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over filling. Bake in 400° F oven for 10 minutes or until browned. Serves two.

Scalloped Clams

Horse clams
Horse clams can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches.

Good with butter, horse, or cockle clams.

Ingredients

1 pint cleaned clams

¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 cups cracker crumbs

1 cup clam liquor and milk

½ tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

½ cup butter or margarine

Directions

Drain and chop clams, save the liquor. Combine crumbs, seasonings, and fat. Spread 1/3 of mixture in greased casserole. Cover with ½ of the clams. Repeat layers. Add Worcestershire sauce to the liquid and pour over casserole. Sprinkle crumbs over top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until browned. Serves 6.

Butter Clam Fritters

Picture of a butter clam
Butter clams can be found along many Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches.

Good with butter or horse clams.

Ingredients

4 cups minced butter clam meat (raw)

1 cup flour

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. baking powder

1 ¼ cup beer     

½ tsp. curry powder

1 egg, beaten

Oil for pan frying

Directions

Add the chopped onion, beer and beaten egg to the mined clam meat. Stir in the flour, baking powder and curry powder.  Place the mixture in a blender or food processor and give it a quick burst.

Shape the mixture into patties and pan fry quickly in about a ¼ inch of hot oil, flipping once. (If mixture is too moist, to form patties, drop like dumplings into oil and flatten lightly with a spatula.)

Drain fritters on paper towels and serve with a lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley.  Fritters can also be baked on a well-greased cookie sheet in a 375°F oven for about 12 minutes. If not sufficiently brown, flip and bake 5 more minutes. 

Clams Trieste

Clam digging
Kids enjoying a day on the beach gathering clams.

By Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Ingredients

6 dozen steamer clams, scrubbed

2 tsp lemon pepper

1 cup dry vermouth

Sauce Ingredients

½ cup coarsely chopped onion

1 tsp English mustard

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp brandy

Olive oil

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 cup parsley

1 tbsp Madeira

1 green onion, chopped

2 tsp lemon juice

Pinch of rosemary

½ lb. unsalted butter, softened

Pinch of tarragon

3 anchovy fillets, chopped

Pinch of marjoram      

½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Pepper

1 egg

Directions

Prepare sauce first. Sauté onion and garlic quickly in a little olive oil without letting it color. Place in bowl of food processor along with parsley, green onion, rosemary, tarragon, and marjoram. Process thoroughly. Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brandy, Madeira, and lemon juice.

Process until well blended. Remove to bowl and clean processor bowl.  Process butter for two minutes. Add anchovies and process until well blended. Add other mixture and process 10 seconds. Add salt, pepper, and egg. Process another 10 seconds. 

To prepare clams, place them in heavy stock pot with vermouth and lemon pepper. Cover tightly and cook over medium heat until clams open, 4-6 minutes.

To assemble, remove top shell of clams. Place clam in oven-proof dishes or in large pan. Top with generous dabs of sauce.  Place clams on top shell of 400° F oven and bake until hot and bubbly, about 6-7 minutes. Serve immediately.  Add lots of crusty bread, a crisp white wine or full-flavored beer and this dish becomes a meal or memorable first course.

Fried Clams

Picture of Manila Clams
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches and two of the most abundant are Manila and littleneck clams.

Good with butter or horse clams.

Ingredients

1 qt. fresh clams (shucked)

2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

Dash pepper

2 tbsp. milk

3 cups dry bread crumbs

Tartar sauce (recipe above with Yer Good Ole Simple and Basic Fried Clams, page 2 of recipes)

Directions

Drain clams. Combine egg, milk, and seasonings. Dip clams in egg mixture and roll in crumbs. Fry in a basket in deep fat, 350 degrees F for 1 to 2 minutes until brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve with Tartar sauce. Serves 6.

Steamers in Spicy Banana Sauce

Hood Canal clam digging
A clam digger gazes at the sun setting on the horizon in Hood Canal. Paul Kim

By Chef Eric Jenkins, The Seafood School, Astoria, OR.

I had this dish served at a shellfish growers conference and it was AMAZING, even though it sounds weird, Camille Speck, a WDFW shellfish biologist  said. The base is a red, ketchup-like sauce that is common in any Asian grocery. I think it’s a product of the Philippines

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh steamer clams (I’d use one limit), well-scrubbed

⅛ cup of peanut oil

Dried whole red chili peppers to taste (you may roll them in your hands before adding to release some of the heat)

1 cup of onion, sliced

1 tbsp fresh chopped garlic

1 cup fish stock

¾ cup Jufran Hot Banana Ketchup

1/3 cut of chopped green onion

1 tbsp butter

Directions

This is easiest to cook in a wok or large skillet. Heat the peanut oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, red peppers, and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the clams and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the clams start to open. Add the fish stock and turn the heat to high.

Reduce the liquid in the pan by half and add the banana sauce, mixing well. Reduce again by half, thickening the sauce.  Add the butter and green onion, tossing together gently. Remove to a warm platter and serve with a good bread to sop up the sauce. Serves two.

Jayne Bradbury’s Stuffed Butter Clams

Picture of a butter clam
Butter clams are abundant on some Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches.

Ingredients

2 cups finely minced raw butter clams

1 tbsp. prepared mustard

½ cup finely minced onion

⅓ cup finely green bell pepper               

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 to 1 ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs

⅓ cup finely minced celery

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup whipped cream

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp. melted butter (olive oil)

Directions

Add all ingredients, mix well. Stuff mixture into nice white butter clam shells (open-faced) or ramekins. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes. Top with paprika and/or parsley and serve with lemon wedges

Yer Good Ole Simple and Basic Fried Clams

Clam digging
A group of kids enjoy gathering clams on a beach.

Adapted for Butter Clams by Camille Speck, a WDFW shellfish biologist.

Ingredients

1 limit butter clams, shucked and cleaned (cut black tips off siphons)

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp. milk

2 tsp. salt

Dash pepper or other seasoning (Variations can include Italian seasoning, curry powder, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, sesame seeds, wasabi powder, etc.)

3 cups dry breadcrumbs or Japanese “panko”

Oil for pan frying

Tartar sauce (see instructions below)

Directions

Drain clams. Combine egg, milk and seasoning. Dip clams in egg mixture and roll in crumbs. Heat pan on medium high heat, add oil when pan is hot. Pan fry clams in batches 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Serve with tartar sauce. Serves about 6.

Tartar Sauce Directions:

1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

3 tbsp. chopped parsley

3 tbsp. chopped olives

3 tbsp. chopped sweet pickle or drained sweet pickle relish

3 tbsp. chopped onion

Directions

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill.

Spinach-Baked Butter Clams on the Half Shell

Native littleneck clams
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches and two of the most abundant are Manila and littleneck clams.

Ingredients

12 larger butter clams

½ cup butter

½ lb. fresh spinach, stems removed

¼ tsp white pepper

1 cup breadcrumbs

4 tbsp clam juice

¼ cup parsley

Tabasco sauce (optional)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Lemon wedges (optional)

Directions

Shuck clams and clean meat, cutting black tip off siphon. Wash shells thoroughly. Leave shells in “butterfly” condition, twisting the hinges so they will lay flat. Process the clam clams briefly in a food processor or blender. Do not over-process or the clams will become liquid. Drain off 4 tbsp juice from processed clams. Drain off any excess liquid. Place clams in a large bowl. 

In a small saucepan, combine spinach and enough water to steam. Cook about 5 minutes, removing from the heat, drain and pat dry, and chop coarsely. Add spinach to bowl with clams. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, butter, pepper and clam juice; mix well. 

Arrange shells on a lightly greased cookie sheet or shallow baking dish. Fill each shell half with stuffing. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 25 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with fresh lemon wedges and/or Tabasco sauce.

Clam–Lima Bean Soup

Clams on a beach
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches and two of the most abundant are Manila and littleneck clams.

Ingredients

2 cups minced clams

1 package frozen baby lima beans

1 cup boiling water

½ tsp. savory salt

4 slices bacon

2 cans (10 ½ oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 ½ cups milk

1 tbsp. grated onion

Pepper to taste

Directions

Drain clams. Place beans in boiling salted water in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to the boiling point again. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Fry bacon until crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Crumble bacon. When beans are tender, stir in remaining ingredients except bacon. Cover and simmer until hot. Garnish with bacon. Serves 6.

Szechuan Butter Clams

Hood Canal clam digging
There are so many places to gather shellfish and popular locations can be found in Hood Canal. Paul Kim

Adapted from Washington Department of Natural Resources.

(This is a rapid, stir-fry dish. All ingredients should be chopped and measured in advance. Do not overcook clams, as it will toughen them.)

Ingredients

8-10 large butter clams, shucked and cleaned

2 tbsp garlic, minced or crushed                     

1 tbsp sherry

2 tbsp scallions, chopped

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp chili paste

Pinch of white pepper

1 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup corn or peanut oil

2 tbsp malt vinegar

2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger                                    

Directions

Slice the butter clams into strips, making sure to cut the siphon in half. Marinate meat in mixture of sherry, cornstarch, salt, and pepper.  Heat oil over high heat. Add ginger, garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add scallions and stir-fry 10 seconds.

Add chili paste, stir-fry another 30 seconds. Add butter clam strips and marinade mixture, stir-fry for one minute. Add soy sauce and malt vinegar, stir-fry 15 seconds. Remove from heat and serve over rice or noodles.

To prepare with Geoduck:

One geoduck clam can be substituted for the butter clams. To prepare the cleaned geoduck, slice meat across the grain into ⅛ inch slants. Separate the siphon (neck) meat from the mantle (softer body meat). When adding the clam and marinade mixture, first add the mantle (body) slices and stir fry for 30 seconds. Then add the siphon (neck) slices and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Continue to follow recipe.

Sausage Clam Loaf

Native littleneck clams
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches and two of the most abundant are Manila and littleneck clams.

From Sunset Seafood Cookbook, 1970.

(Chewy toasted English muffins make a good base for delicate sausage and clam loaf.  Serve with a salad of mixed greens and hard-cooked eggs tossed with tart oil and vinegar dressing.  (Left-over steamers could be used or raw butter clam meat.)

Ingredients

1-pound bulk pork sausage

3 eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups minced clams

¼ tsp sage or poultry seasoning

1 ½ cups cracker crumbs

1 tsp salt

1 medium onion, finely chopped

¼ tsp pepper

Directions

Mix sausage, clams (include liquid), crumbs, onion, eggs, sage, salt, and pepper. Spoon into a loaf pan (about 5x9 inches), and smooth surface.  Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes. Drain excess fat from pan before serving or chilling. Serve sliced, either hot or cold. Makes 8 servings. 

Seafood Salad with Collard Greens Slaw

This can be served immediately as a warm salad or made ahead and served chilled. Use Manila or native littleneck steamers.

Ingredients for shellfish

2 pounds clams, scrubbed

2 pounds mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed

2 pounds sea scallops

1 ½ pounds large uncooked large shrimp, peeled or de-veined

Ingredients for dressing

¼ cup (packed) chopped fresh basil

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

3 tbsp drained capers

2 cups dry white wine

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup white wine vinegar

Directions

Whisk first 8 ingredients in bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper. (Can be made one day ahead and chill. Bring to room temperature before using). Combine clams, mussels, and wine in large wide pot.

Cover tightly; cook over high heat until clams and mussels open, about 8 minutes (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Using slotted spoon, transfer clams and mussels to very large bowl. Strain cooking liquid into medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 cup cooking liquid into dressing (reserve remaining cooking liquid for another use).

Cook scallops in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, add scallops to clams and mussels. Return water in saucepan to boil. Add shrimp and cook just until opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl with shellfish. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead and refrigerated.) Pour dressing over shellfish and toss to blend.

Arrange slaw (below) on very large platter. Mound salad in center and serve.

Collard Greens Slaw

Ingredients for dressing

¾ cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon celery seeds

2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika

Ingredients for greens and vegetables

2 large bunches collard greens (about 2 pounds), thick stems trimmed, leaves halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (about 16 cups)

8 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 1 medium head)

4 cups coarsely grated peeled carrots (about 6 large)

Directions

Whisk first 6 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Combine collard greens, cabbage, and carrots in very large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until collard greens soften and wilt slightly, tossing occasionally, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Clam Corn Casserole

Picture of Nuttall's cockle clams
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches including the cockle clam.

Good with butter, horse, cockle, or steamer clams.

Ingredients

1 pint chopped clams

½ tsp. salt

1 cup clam liquor plus milk

Few grains cayenne

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup cream style corn

1 tbsp chopped onion

½ cup cracker crumbs

2 tbsp chopped pimiento      

1 tbsp. melted butter or other fat

Directions

Drain and strain liquid from clams. Rinse clams under cold water. Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 1 ½ quart casserole. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) for 1 hour or until firm. Makes 4-5 servings.

Clam-Corn Griddle Cakes with Cranberry-Applesauce

Picture of Manila Clams
There are so many varieties of clams that can be found on Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches and two of the most abundant are Manila and littleneck clams.

Good with butter, horse, cockle, or steamer clams.

Ingredients

2 cups minced clams

1 ½ cup clam liquor and milk

1 ½ cups sifted flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup yellow corn meal

1/3 cup melted fat or oil

5 tsp. baking powder

Butter or margarine

1 tsp. salt

Directions

Drain clams, reserving liquor. Sift dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients except butter.. Stir only until blended. Drop ¼ cup batter onto a hot, well-greased griddle or fry pan. Fry 1 to 2 minutes or until brown. Turn carefully and fry other side for 1 or 2 minutes. Serve with butter and cranberry-applesauce. Makes about 18 cakes. Serves 6.

Cranberry-Applesauce (for above recipe)

Ingredients

1 can jellied cranberry sauce

½ cup applesauce

¼ tsp. Cinnamon

Directions

Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Chill. This makes about 2 cups of sauce.

Baked Clams

Clam digging
A group of youth gathering shellfish on a local beach.

Good with butter, horse, cockle, or steamer clams.

Ingredients

1 pint cleaned clams

½ cup salad oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. chopped onion

½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

Directions

Combine oil, salt, and onion. Place clams in mixture for 1 minute. Remove and drain, then roll in cheese and then in breadcrumbs. Place in a well-greased baking pan and bake in a hot oven, 450 degrees F 12 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serves 6.

Razor Clam Chowder

A razor clam limit
A nice batch of razor clams gathered from a coastal beach. Zach Forster

Ingredients

4 slices lean bacon, finely diced

4 med. potatoes, diced

1 pint minced clams, undrained    

1 quart milk

1 onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Fry bacon pieces until golden brown; remove from drippings and add to clams. Brown onion slightly; add to clams with potatoes. Cover with water; simmer until vegetables are tender. Add milk and seasonings. Heat well and serve.

6 servings.

For variation try adding this to the above recipe (Delicious!)

1 can Manhattan clam chowder

1 can cream corn

Razor Clam Croquettes

Kids razor clam digging at Long Beach
Two kids proudly holding up their limit of razor clams from Long Beach. Tammy Foes

Ingredients

2 cups ground razor clams, undrained

1 tsp. garlic salt (optional)

2 cups cracker crumbs

2 tbsp. dry onion soup mix

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. flour, sifted

Dash of pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients, blending thoroughly. Shape into croquettes. Fry in deep fat until golden brown. 4 servings.

Mark’s Pan Fried Panko Razor Clams

Razor clam at Copalis Beach
Here's a nice razor clam from Copalis Beach.

Ingredients

15 cleaned razor clams

3 eggs

1 cup of flour

1 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Dash (or two or three or four depending on your taste) of sea salt and pepper

Directions

First rinse clams, drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Then dip clam pieces into the flour (I add the salt and pepper into the flour), then into the beaten eggs, and roll in the panko.

Using on medium high heat, fry the clams in quarter-inch of oil in a pan. Brown the clams for about one minute and then flip them over to brown the other side for just as long.

Take out and lay out on paper towels to absorb the grease and serve. Pan fried razor clams with a gob of tartar sauce! This is the best way because the sweet and tender razor clams must be cooked fast, and if overcooked, they become tough.

(Mark Yuasa is a WDFW Public Affairs Communications Consultant)