East-coast razor clams are less know than their hardier Pacific counterparts. Shaped like old-timey straight razors, the shells of these 5″ are soft, much like steamer clams, brittle even. And the elongated shape makes them even more fragile.
They can’t travel far once they’ve been liberated from their beds. Which is a little ironic since they are pretty mobile in the wild. They dig down into the sand when threatened, another factor in their rarity.
Even here in East Hampton they only appear from time to time, mostly when a bayman or fish monger is commissioned to dig some up.
They are very sandy so a couple hours soak in cold salted water is needed. Gently finger-wipe the shells and lay in a large lidded pot.
One more thing — they’re very much alive up until this point so don’t freak if they flap and squirt a bit.
Oh and another thing — you have to peel back the leathery skin around the neck, the same as steamers.
RECIPE FOR ATLANTIC RAZOR CLAMS
In a skillet that will be large enough to toss the clams in one layer cook some garlic to an appropriate amount of olive oil. Cook. Add what seems to be the right amount of diced tomato, a generous splash of white wine, a good squeeze of lemon juice and child’s fistful of chopped parsley. Cook a bit more. S
Place cleaned razor clams in pot large enough to fit them all no more than two to three deep. Add 1″ water. Cover and steam for 4-5 minutes until the shells are loose and start to fall open.
Gently tip out into a colander. Gently slide them into the skillet with the hot sauce. Toss.
Serve with plenty of bread and plenty of napkins.Print This Post