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Seafood School | Astoria, Oregon | Health | Razor Clams


Health: Razor Clams

Nutrition: 3 1/2 oz. (100 grams)
Calories: 74
Protein: 12.7 grams
Fat: l gram; Saturated Fat 0 mg.
Cholesterol: 34 mg.
Sodium: 56 mg.
Carbohydrates: 0 mg.

SEASON: is Year-round, but meat yields and shelf life decline during spawning. Most clams spawn in summer.

FISHING METHOD: Dredged (boat), dug (hand), cultured
BACKGROUND: The clam business used to be pretty simple. On the West Coast, there were Manilas and that was about it. Back east, there were hard shells and soft shells. And, of course, there were those big surf clams and ocean quahogs which were sliced and diced for chowders and breaded strips. These days, though, as our appetite for this bivalve mollusks has grown, clams have gotten a lot more complicated. There are several West Coast varieties, of which razor clams are just one. Cockles are very similar to clams.

COOKING SUGGESTIONS: The wide variety of clams available today make this a popular seafood even if the names are a bit confusing. Clams can be eaten as an appetizer or an entrée, depending on how you serve them and what type you have. On the West Coast where Manila clams are plentiful, these “steamer” clams are often steamed and eaten from the shell with butter and garlic. They can also be included in pastas or chowders. Razor clams, from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are generally cleaned just after capture and their tender meats are most often served fried.

STORAGE & HANDLING: Live clams and cockles should be held at 34-38°F in a moist environment. Don’t use ice, as fresh water will shorten shelf life. Under ideal conditions, clams will stay alive for 10-14 days, although shelf life is shorter in summer after animals have spawned.