Are Surf Clams Cooked?

Are Surf Clams Cooked?

If you’ve ever come across surf clams in a seafood market or a restaurant menu, you might have wondered whether they are cooked or not. Surf clams, also known as Atlantic surf clams or sea clams, are bivalve mollusks that are widely consumed around the world. In this article, we will explore the cooking process of surf clams and provide you with all the information you need.

What are Surf Clams?

Surf clams belong to the species Spisula solidissima and are found along the Atlantic coast of North America. They have a distinctive oval-shaped shell with ridges and can grow up to 7 inches in length. These clams bury themselves in the sandy ocean floor and feed on plankton.

Are Surf Clams Raw or Cooked?

Surf clams are typically cooked before being sold or served. The most common cooking method for surf clams is steaming, which involves placing them in a pot with a small amount of water and cooking them until their shells open. This process not only cooks the clam meat but also makes it easier to remove from the shell.

Note: It is important to note that raw surf clam meat can be consumed but it is less common due to potential health risks associated with consuming raw seafood.

The Cooking Process

To cook surf clams, follow these simple steps:

  • 1. Rinse the surf clams under cold water to remove any sand or debris from their shells.
  • 2. Place the rinsed clams in a large pot with about an inch of water at the bottom.
  • 3. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  • 4.Reduce the heat to medium and let the clams steam for about 5-7 minutes, or until their shells open.
  • 5. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • 6. Using a pair of tongs or a fork, carefully remove the cooked clam meat from the shell.


  • – Discard any clams that do not open during cooking, as they may be spoiled.
  • – Be cautious when handling hot clams and always use kitchen gloves or utensils to avoid burns.

How to Enjoy Surf Clams

Once cooked, surf clams can be enjoyed in various ways:

  • Sashimi: Slice the raw clam meat thinly and serve it with soy sauce and wasabi for a traditional Japanese sashimi experience.
  • Sushi: Use cooked surf clam meat as a topping for sushi rolls or nigiri sushi.
  • Ceviche: Marinate diced raw surf clam meat in citrus juice, such as lime or lemon juice, along with herbs and spices for a refreshing seafood ceviche.
  • Chowder: Add cooked surf clam meat to creamy chowders for an added depth of flavor and texture.

In conclusion,

Surf clams are typically cooked before being consumed. The most common cooking method is steaming, which opens the clam shells and makes it easier to remove the meat.

However, raw surf clam meat can also be enjoyed in certain dishes, although it is less common. Now that you know how to cook and enjoy surf clams, go ahead and indulge in this delicious seafood delicacy!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet