Clams With Tequila and Chorizo

Clams With Tequila and Chorizo

Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

This quick and easy surf-and-turf beer snack has a sauce that resembles bolognese, but is wholly comprised of Mexican chorizo sausage, tequila, and the liquid released from fresh clams.

About the author: Marvin Gapultos is the author of the Filipino food blog, Burnt Lumpia. His first cookbook is due out in 2013. When he isn't cooking or writing about Filipino food, Marvin is usually enjoying a beer or cocktail, and thinking about what to eat with said beer or cocktail. You can follow him on Twitter @BurntLumpia.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

  • Yield:Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 pound fresh Mexican chorizo sausage
  • 1/2 cup silver tequila
  • 1 dried Chile de Arbol
  • 2 pounds fresh Manila clams, scrubbed and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Crusty bread, or tortilla chips, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. 1.

    Heat the oil in a large saute pan over moderately high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it just begins to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until the sausage is browned and heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Pour the tequila into the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Drop the chile pepper into the pan and continue to cook until the tequila is reduced by half, 1 to 3 minutes. Arrange the clams in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and continue to cook until all of the clams have opened, 5 to 7 minutes total.

  3. 3.

    Using tongs, transfer the opened clams to a large shallow serving dish or bowl. Stir the lime juice into the pan and return the cooked sausage to the pan, simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. Keep in mind that the sausage, as well as the liquor given up by the clams, are both salty, so not much additional salt may be needed.

  4. 4.

    Spoon the sauce over the clams and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side, and with crusty bread or tortilla chips for dipping into the sauce.