September 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 2:26 pm

Last weekend I got my first paycheck! So naturally it seemed only proper that I should go shopping and spend all of it at once. The problem is that there see to be very few decent shops in my area.

To have a fighting chance at bankrupting myself, I needed to go all the way back to my old haunt of Kensington, where I managed to spend £200 on a vast array of pointless girly things (makeup I don’t really need, overly frilly underwear etc. ) and some less frivolous things like clothes for work.

Since I was in Kensington, it would seem rude to not pop in to visit the Whole Foods market, which is where I found these intriguing creatures.


razor clams

I’d only seen razor clams here once before and at that time there was no way I could afford them. But on this occasion I was out to treat myself, so I picked up twelve to share with Goon.

I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything quite so active! As the fishmonger got them ready for me, they squirmed and wriggled around in an almost disturbing way. By the time i got them home, the cold from their iced container had subdued them but, by that point Goon wanted to see the liveliness of the clams for himself, so he picked one and sat warming it in his hands.


After half an hour all the clams were at room temperature and wriggling away again. I set Goon the task of tapping them until they stayed closed while I got started on the rest of dinner. The fishmonger had suggested treating them exactly like mussels, so I decided to steam them in a both of coconut milk and fish stock flavoured with lemongrass, lime leaves, chilli and coriander.

By the time the clams were ready for steaming, Goon had grown quite attached to them and it was a struggle convincing him to let me cook them. Fortunately, Goon thinks about his stomach before everything else, so I just waited a while until he got hungry, after which he was qute happy to drop his new friends into the pan.

The clams didn’t take long to cook at all. I seved them with the thickened broth on a bed of steamed jasmine rice with some pak choi in oyster sauce.

razor clams in thai broth

At approximately £1 each, these clams weren’t cheap but I’d definitely get them again as a treat. They have a fantastic texture, like lightly cooked scallops but more meaty, and a very fishy flavour. I think they’d be a superb replacement for mussels in a moules mariniere. I imagine they’d also be great just grilled with some herbs and olive oil. I wouldn’t say I made a mistake by putting them in a Thai broth, but they certainly didn’t need so much attention- I could have got away with treating them simply.

So next payday, I will be running over to Kensington to see if there are any more of this exciting crustacean in stock. Hopefully they’ll still be in season then. 


  1. I’ve never seen these on sale in Britain … they sound good, and you have reminded me that mussels would be a good thing to buy this week, we haven’t had them for ages, and they aren’t quite so expensive!

    And I bet you feel better now that you’ve made it to your first pay day!

    Best wishes

    Comment by Joanna — September 29, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

  2. how cool! while i’ve seen them on tv, i’ve never seen razor clams for sale before any where i’ve lived! i’m totally envious of your find! congrats on that first paycheck! i can’t wait to see what you purchase and make with the upcoming ones. :-)

    Comment by amanda — September 29, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  3. Excellent! I’ve eaten them a couple of times but not cooked them, I think I’ll pick some up from the fishmonger next time I see long as it’s not too long after payday!

    Comment by Ginger — September 30, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  4. I’ve never cooked razor clams, but I like the spanish way ‘a la plancha’ - just griddled quickly with garlic, olive oil and parsley.
    The only place I’ve consistently seen them on sale is in the fishmongers in Chinatown - worth a look, as I’d bet a fiver they’d be cheaper there!

    Comment by Richard — October 1, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

  5. I have seen these coming out of the sand in Cornwall and always wondered how to eat them.
    This is great.

    Comment by GBVC — October 1, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  6. Mmmmm, great treat! I have only had these in a restaurant here in London (Arbutus) and loved them. I agree - they are somwhere between a scallop and some very tender calamari. Just delicious!

    Comment by Jeanne — October 3, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  7. I’ve never tried these before, but it’s nice I can taste them through you in a way. ;)

    Comment by Garrett — October 4, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

  8. I’ve only ever cooked razor clams once before, at college. The ones I cooked weren’t quite as lively as the ones you describe, but they certainly taste great. Very meaty!

    Comment by Trig — October 10, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  9. Thanks for your pics and thoughts on razor clams. I was given a dozen live yesterday and your site has given me the confidence to have a go. I think I’ll eat them with hot crusty bread. regards, vern.

    Comment by vern — November 25, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

  10. I had the raw once. A bit chewy. According to Ray Mears, if you find the holes in the sand where they live and sprinkle salt down them, they pop up to say hello. Shame London is so far from the sea.

    Comment by Steven — December 21, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

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