Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 6-8 min.

Yield: 6 servings


5 - 6 lbs clams

3 cups of boiling water

2 sticks of melted butter (to dunk the clams in)


One hour before serving, scrub the clams with a vegetable brush in cold water; rinse with water 2 -3 times until free of sand. Place clams in a steamer or on a rack in a large kettle with 3 cup boiling water (just enough to cover bottom of the kettle up to an inch and a half). Cover the kettle with a tight-fitting lid and steam over medium heat just until clams open, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve the steamers with a bowl for the clams, an empty bowl for the shells, a small bowl with broth for dipping, and a smaller bowl with butter for dipping.

With fingers, pull clams from the shells by the neck; remove the tough skin of the neck, swirl the clam around in the hot broth (it will help to warm up the clams and to dislodge any remaining grit or sand), then into the melted butter. Everything except the tough skin of the neck may be eaten. The broth can be drunk when the sand settles to the bottom.

If you are planning on clams as your primary course, one to two pounds per person is a good amount. If you are having clams as a side course for a Lobster feed or a barbecue, then one-half to one pound per person should be enough. If you want to add some color and flavor to your steamers, you can add lemon juice, beer, herbs, garlic, or white wine to the broth.



Maine Steamer Clams

Few summer seafood traditions in Maine are as anticipated as the first batch of steamers. Sitting down to the two bowls — one heaped with steamers, the other to collect the discarded shells — plus a few carefully arranged cups of broth and hot butter for swishing and dunking, is a time-honored Maine tradition.