Sake-Steamed Clams



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Japanese Food Made Easy

Japanese Food Made Easy

By Aya Nishimura

Published 2020

  • About
Preparation: 10 Minutes, Plus 1 Hour Standing
Cooking: 5–10 Minutes

This is a wonderful dish that can be made with very little effort if you are short on time. However, it’s important to prepare the clams properly to remove all grit and sand.



  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) clams
  • 30 g (1 oz) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 8 spring onions, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces and sliced into long thin strips


  • 30 g (1 oz) sea salt
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) sake


To remove the grit from the clams, mix 4 cups (1 litre) cold water with the sea salt in a large bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Place the clams in a large deep tray and pour the salted water over the clams until they are almost covered. Cover the tray with a tea towel and leave it in a dark, cool place for 1 hour (or in the fridge overnight).

Drain the clams in a colander and wash them in cold running water. Check the clams – they should be tightly closed. Discard any half-opened clams or any that don’t close when tapped.

Combine the clams, ginger, spring onion and sake in a large saucepan or wok and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the clams over medium–high heat for 5–10 minutes. Remove the lid and check the clams. If all of the clams are wide open, the dish is ready. Discard any unopened shells.