Cryo-Shucked Clams Recipe

Photographs: Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot

Want to cook clams without their shells but don't know how to shuck them? This freezer method is the perfect solution, and requires no special knife- or shucking-skills.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 13 hrs
Serves: 50 shucked clams

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  • 13 1/3 cups (3000g) water

  • 5 tablespoons (90g) fine sea salt

  • 50 littleneck clams, rinsed


  1. In a large bowl, combine water and salt and stir until salt is dissolved. Transfer one-third of brine to another large bowl and add clams. Set clams in refrigerator and let soak for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain clams, then rinse clams and bowl. Return clams to bowl, add half of remaining brine and transfer to refrigerator to soak for 30 more minutes. Drain and repeat once more with remaining brine.

  3. Arrange clams in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze overnight or up to 1 week, wrapping with plastic wrap once clams are frozen solid.

  4. When ready to shuck, transfer clams to refrigerator to thaw; the clams will pop open as they thaw. Using a spoon, pry open clam shells fully and scoop them into a bowl set over another bowl filled with ice; be sure to catch all of the clam juice in the bowl as you shuck the clams. Pour any extra clam liquid in the baking sheet into the bowl of clams.

  5. Using a pair of scissors, trim around the belly and foot sections (the soft, round center area and firm adjacent meat) of each clam. Transfer belly (also known as the visceral mass) and foot to a small bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use. Add trimmings to the bowl of clam juice; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
10 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 50
Amount per serving
Calories 10
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 44mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)