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Old 05-15-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
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ISO help with first steamed clams

I am going to steam clams for the first time. I have read in various sources that the clams have to be soaked in salt and cornmeal before using. However, I just read in "The Legal Sea Food Cookbook," that this step is not necessary and to just scrub and rinse them. I'd like to know if I have to soak them because I have little room in the refrigerator for a large pot of clams and skipping the soaking would be helpful. But I don't want skip this step if it's going to leave sand in them, ruin the quality of them, or make them unsafe to eat. What do the pro's do? Also, what is the best book to buy on cooking seafood?

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Old 05-15-2007, 10:16 PM   #2
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Hi, ST93. Welcome to DC.

I'd go with the cookbook.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:13 AM   #3
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Clams that you purchase at a grocery store or at a fish market are already pre-soaked 99.99% of the time.

I've only pre-soaked ones we've gathered ourselves... and we use a couple dashes of hot sauce per pound of clams (in lieu of the cornmeal) and then let them sit overnight.

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Old 05-16-2007, 08:18 AM   #4
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I steamed some little neck clams for the first time a few weeks ago. I was a little nervous. I just rinsed them. They also opened up nicely
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:38 AM   #5
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Rinse clams, remove foot. In a saute pan, add 3/4 c. water, 1/2 c. white wine, crushed garlic and a couple sprigs of thyme. Simmer, add clams and cover. When the clams have opened, use a spoon to baste them with the broth and serve.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:31 AM   #6
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What Z said.... if you buy them in a store, chances are they're ready to cook. That said, I prefer the taste of mussels. And they even cost less. How many times do you see that happen?
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:07 PM   #7
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Mussels!! Clams!! They are both great. I rinse mine but never soak them. I just steam mine and then dip in garlic butter. Oh so good.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:13 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for the advice. I am very new to seafood. What exactly is the "foot." And where can I find good clear pictures on removing it?

Seems to me that the cookbook market is so flooded with books. Can anyone give me advice on the definitive seafood cookbook to get my hands on?
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:27 AM   #9
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Give them a good rinse under cool water. Any that don't close with a gentle tap should be discarded. After you steam them ( and please, don't over steam them, they'll get very very tough) they'll release any sand into the pot. Just discard that water/wine herb mixture or strain it through cheesecloth.
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