My Favourite Fresh Clams Recipe

My Favourite Fresh Clams Recipe

This fresh clams recipe is such a treat. Easy to prepare and even easier to devour. 

When I was growing up, we would eat clams over the summer months. They would be part of the great platters of seafood we would share. Beautiful boiled molluscs served with home made mayonnaise and if we asked very nicely a bit of rouille. This reminds me I must tell you about rouille very soon. If you like fish, rouille is something you will want to know about. Anyway. back to my gorgeous fresh clams recipe

If you wanted to make this dish go further simply serve it on top of a steaming pile of spaghetti, some steamed jasmine rice or some simple fried scalloped potatoes. A little can go a long way. This fresh clam recipe is handy for a dinner party as you get the treat of the intense seafood flavour and yet it doesn’t break the bank at all. I freely admit that I love eating with my fingers and there is something thoroughly satisfying in getting those little pearls of luxurious flesh out of the slippery shells and into your awaiting mouth. 

I bought the clams in Fallon & Byrne which is by very far one of my favourite shops in Dublin. I’m particularly keen on the butchers (who double as fish mongers) and the cheese mongers. Those are some of my favourite people. 


  • 1 fillet of clams
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large red chili 
  • Enough peanut oil to cover the chopped chili so about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 ripe lemon for juicing


Fresh Clams Recipe

  • The day before (or at least a few hours ahead of eating) chop your chili (and then wash your hands – you’re welcome) and cover it with peanut and just leave it there to macerate. 
  • Rinse the clams thoroughly in large amounts of cold water to remove any sand or grits lodged in the shells. You do this under running water as letting the clams sit in cold water would not remove everything.
  • In a large pot, pour a little a bit of oil and add your sliced onion. You want it to be translucide but not caramelised so cook it on low heat. Do not let it brown. It won’t be ruined if you do but the dish is quite delicate in flavour and could do without the pungency and sweetness of browned onions. 
  • Once the onions are cooked things will happen quite fast so please make sure you have all your ingredients lined up. You want your glass of wine nearby and your lemon juiced and waiting. You will need to have grated your garlic and your chili ready to go. 
  • First, turn up the heat under your pot and add your drained clams. Toss them over the high heat for 30 seconds. 
  • Pour the wine and lemon juice, add your garlic, your chili (minus the oil) and your saffron. Toss well and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for 3 or 4 min.
  • At this stage lift the lid and give it another toss. Check to see if all the clams are open. If they’re not replace the lid and cook for another minute. 
  • A this stage you are ready to serve the clams. If some are still not open you must bin them as they’re not fit for eating and will make you sick. 
  • Serve as a generous portion for two with crusty bread or as suggested above with pasta, rice or potatoes. 

Fresh clams recipe

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One Comment

  1. Donna says:

    Gorgeous! I’d love to see your rouille recipe, I only heard of it recently but I reckon it must be delicious.

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