Monday, March 28, 2011

Geoduck Recipes

I came into a geoduck windfall the other day. A photo team was in town to shoot some clam digging action, and to supplement the razors and littlenecks we dug at the beach, they picked up a few photogenic 'ducks from the market.

By the end of the weekend I was in proud possession of four live geoducks. What to do? If morels were popping (they're not), I'd consider my Sichuan surf 'n' turf, or maybe a ceviche for a sunny Seattle picnic in March (good luck!). So I poked around online. Xinh Dwelley of Xinh's Clam & Oyster House in Shelton, WA, makes a star turn on Dirty Jobs to demonstrate how to prepare Geoduck Sashimi, perhaps my favorite way to enjoy the well-endowed mollusk. Simply adorned with a dipping sauce of one part soy, one part rice vinegar, and a generous pinch of minced ginger, the clam's sweet, slightly metallic taste shines through. Another good source for geoduck inspiration can be found here.

Even with various friends on the dole, four 'ducks was just too much clam for three meals. We ended up freezing a couple. The necks of the other two got eaten as sashimi and the body meat was stir-fried for Geoduck with Snow Peas and Cashews. That night we also fried up some razor clams Pan-Asian style with a reduction of sake, aji-mirin, garlic, and ginger.

I sure don't mind these clammy days of spring.


Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I have never tried Geoduck but it's on my list of things I must try. I saw some in a market in Minneapolis a few years ago but figured I'd wait until I could enjoy them somewhere closer to their natural environment. (not too many Geoducks here in MN)

Looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Clam season makes your obsession with fungi bearable - I know soon after morels, there will be clams.

the twice bitten said...

Wow, just discovered your blog. I love food and love foraging. Perfect combination. I live in scotland and haven't heard of geoducks. Do you know if it has any other names?
Very excited!

Cameal said...

Mr Cook!
This looks so lovely. We have lots of geoducks on the coast of BC- I used to dig them for fun when I was a kid. I want to start digging for food but I think the laws here are more convoluted than where you are. If I get motivated enough I'm sure I will figure out a way to make it happen.
When you make the sashimi, how do you slice the geoduck-- very thinly? And where do you cut to separate the part you used for sashimi and the part used for the stir-fry? Any chance you've got any photos of the process?
I am definitely going to check out that geoduck link you posted, too.
Thanks again for sharing! Your blog makes me so happy!

LC said...

Lisa - If the 'duck is in a tank (i.e. alive) you might give it a try--even in the Twin Cities. But digging your own is more fun.

Anonymous - Guilty as charged...

Twice Bitten - No geoducks over your way, though lots of other tasty bivalves. The settlers sometimes called geoducks "horsenecks," or more colorful variants.

Cameal - Use the siphon for sashimi. Cut it off where it joins the body, butterfly open with scissors (like a razor clam, a geoduck has a double-barreled siphon, so you'll need to cut through both), rinse off any sand or grit, and then slice thin on an angle. The body meat is great for stir-fry. It plumps up nicely after a minute or two of cooking over high heat in a wok. I'll try to post some photos that explain the cleaning & prepping process.

Martha Silano said...

You're bringing back some delicious memories with this post, darlin'. Geoduck windfalls are always a treat.