Herb’s Clam Patties

5.18 (26)

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


Cleaning razor clams is a process in and of itself. You can check here for a great tutorial. I used a food grinder to grind them up afterwards.

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.


One thought on “Herb’s Clam Patties

  1. Pingback: August Meal Plan #2: Veggie Catch-Up | Kate Diamond, Author

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