Lemon-Simmered Clams with Herbs

Hamaguri no Remon Ni

Simmering steamed clams in their own broth spiked with fresh lemon juice gives them an intense flavor—rich and briny with sunny citrus overtones. An added bonus is the way these clams keep for hours at room temperature, making them great for a picnic as well as a buffet.

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen hard-shell or quahog clams
  • 6-8 square inches dashi kombu (kelp for stock making)
  • 3 tablespoons saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ lemon, cut into very thin rounds
  • 1 tablespoon ao nori (sea herb flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

Method

  1. Scrub the clams and soak them in salted water for 20-30 minutes to help disgorge any sand.
  2. Place the clams in a wide-mouthed pot with the kelp, rice wine, and lemon juice. Cover the pot, place it over high heat, and steam open the clams (about 2½ minutes). Discard any that don’t open after 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Discard the kelp and strain the broth into a skillet. Season the steaming broth with the soy sauce, and bring it to a boil over high heat; then adjust the heat to maintain a low boil.
  4. Remove the clam meats from their shells and add them to the bubbling broth. Simmer the clams for 8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally, until the broth is nearly gone. Allow the clams to cool to room temperature in the skillet.
  5. Arrange the lemon slices in a circle on a serving platter, and mound the simmered clams on the lemon slices. Mix the sea herb flakes with the minced parsley, and sprinkle the mixture over the clams.