Grandpa and Big Sis, clam digging in 2014
Okay, I’m terrible at remembering to take photos while cooking. I promise to update this recipe ASAP with pictures of cleaned clams, ground clams, clam juice, clam batter, and clam patties.
In the mean time, however, I wanted to share a fabulous recipe. My mom reverse-engineered these patties based on her childhood memories. Her much-beloved father (the eponymous Herb) was an avid fisherman who also enjoyed that oh-so-Pacific-Northwest activity of razor-clam digging. My mom says he didn’t actually have a recipe for these patties; he just made them by throwing in a little of this and a little of that.
Thankfully, my mother is willing to give measurements when cornered and threatened. 🙂 She also advised that you can use milk as your only liquid for the recipe (omitting clam juice completely) but the patties won’t be as flavorful.
This recipe makes a TON of patties. If you’re having a big gathering, the recipe doubles well (and you’d definitely want to use 3 eggs for a double batch).
- 1 1/2 cups ground clams (we use razor clams because, well, Washingtonians…)
- 1 1/2 cups corn meal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 or 2 eggs (Either is fine. Really.)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup or more clam juice (see note below)
- salt & pepper
Clams prepped? Hurray! Now it’s time for the actual recipe directions!
Mix your cornmeal, flour, and baking powder together in one bowl. In another bowl, first beat the egg/eggs. Add in milk. Combine your wet and dry ingredients together. Also add the ground clams. Stir, then add enough clam juice to make a smooth, thick batter.
Clam patty batter should be a little thicker than pancake batter. If you’re not sure you’ve reached the right consistency, error on the side of caution… leave it a bit thick, fry up a test patty, and see if it cooked through without burning the outside. If not, adjust accordingly by adding more clam juice or milk.
Note on clam juice: freshly cleaned or thawed clams will give off juice if you let them sit in a container or bowl for a few minutes. The juice looks like cloudy water. Alternatively, bottles of clam juice are often available in the same grocery store aisle as canned tuna.