This recipe is featured in Soft-Shelled Clams
This recipe comes from famed New England chef Jasper White, who knows a thing or two about seafood. It’s a classic. Note: If you can’t find shucked clams, you can steam them briefly, just enough for the shells to start to open and cut them away from the shell with a sharp knife.
- Servings Serves 4
- 907 grams (2 pounds) shucked soft shell clams
- 473 ml (2 cups) milk
- 120 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 113 grams (1 cup) cornmeal
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
- Pinch of cayenne or to taste
- Vegetable oil, as needed for frying
- Lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce, for serving
1. Rinse the clams and pick them over to be sure there are no bits of remaining shell. Put them in the milk to soak. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt and cayenne.
2. Preheat 7.6 cm (3 inches) of oil in a deep kettle. Heat to 190°C (375°F). (The temperature of the oil is important; I recommend using a thermometer.)
3. Lift the clams out of the milk with a wire scoop or large slotted spoon. Drain thoroughly and toss the clams in the flour mixture, making sure all are well-coated.
4. Drop about a third of the clams into the hot oil. Cook until golden and crispy, just a couple of minutes. Repeat with remaining clams, making sure the oil is still at 190°C (375°F). Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.