Steamed Top Neck Clams

by Suzanne on August 18, 2012

in Appetizers and Snacks, Savory

This is a first for me to cook my own clams, yay! My friend Nami over at Just One Cookbook inspired me to try cooking clams, I really fell in love with her grilled clams post and it kept in my mind ever since I saw it. Since I live in the land locked state of Arkansas, I usually do not trust seafood here, but we took an impromptu trip to Pensacola, Florida.

Bye Santa Rosa Island until next time #beach #florida #pensacolabeach #ocean

Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? We found a little island called Santa Rosa that we loved because it was off the beaten path and we had the beach almost all to ourselves, there were never more than 10 people on the beach at a time.  We are definitely going back to this little piece of paradise.

While we were enjoying the sun and sand we met some great people who told us about a place we needed to stop by on our way out to buy fresh seafood. We did just what they recommended and it was a seafood dream mecha! I spent an hour at least looking, taking photos and being totally taken by this great place to shop.
My Aviary-Edited Photo

My Aviary-Edited Photo

I have to admit I got a little overwhelmed by the large variety of fresh seafood. I knew I wanted to buy shrimp, clams and possibly some crab legs, but there was so much there it was hard to choose from. I did get what I wanted and then some,  I ended up getting fresh cut tuna steaks and scallops along with the things on my list.  Guess what? That was the most seafood I’ve ever bought in one trip, ever! I like seafood but in small doses, and I don’t like it to over power a dish if it isn’t the star ingredient. As for the clams here they are the star, and it was hard to believe how easy it was to cook them, well, after you de-grit them of sand. To learn to de-grit clams go to Nami’s site she has step by step instructions that lead you through it. I also followed her simple recipe to steam the clams with some changes to it and they turned out wonderful.

Steamed Top Neck Clams

12 Top Neck Clams (these are bigger than little neck clams)
6 oz or 3/4 cup of chicken broth
1 T. of julienned fresh ginger
halve of the zest of a medium size lemon
1- 2 T. of green onion finely chopped
1 small Serrano pepper
sweet and hot chili pepper sauce (in the Asian sec. of grocery store)
Ponzu sauce or soy sauce (also in Asian sec.)

Step 1: Make sure your clams have been de-gritted and de-salted before cooking. In a medium size skillet put the chicken broth, ginger, cut in half a Serrano chili pepper into pan and turn on to medium high.
Step 2: When the chicken broth begins to boil add the clams to the pan and cover with a lid. When all the clams are opened they are done. It only took a few minutes for all of my clams to open up.
Step 3: Sprinkle onions and lemon zest over the top and eat. We used the sweet and hot chili sauce to dip the clam meat in and the ponzu sauce too. They are good enough for no sauce at all.


  • One important thing, don’t drain off the juice from the clams it is to be eaten with the clams it tastes so good too.
  • Another something to remember too, these clams had a dark brown thing kind of reminded me of a tail, coming out of them as they de-gritted and de-salted,  If it doesn’t go back inside when you are through de-salting them I wouldn’t cook that one up. I had one that was like that the others were okay, but you don’t eat the dark part of the clam and you’ll see why if you haven’t tried the top neck clams before, you can really tell it isn’t’ meant to be eaten.
  • You may not have top neck clams available so that is fine, use the little neck clams that are more popular.

Serves: 6 appetizers or 2 people for a side dish

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1 Terra August 18, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Oh that fish store… would make hubby and I sooooo happy! I finally started eating clams this year, and I love love them. Your recipe sounds delicious, and so full of flavor:-) Hugs, Terra

2 Suzanne August 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm

thanks Terra, I have always liked clams but never had made them at home, I was ammazed that they tasted so good.

3 Lora @cakeduchess August 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I love that seafood market-looks so nice! Clams with those perfect sauce to dip into are a wonderful dinner idea. The photo of the beach is so pretty:)

4 Suzanne August 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Thanks Lora, the beach was gorgeous and that photo is actually from my phone 🙂

5 Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I haven’t had steamed clams since a trip to China a few years ago, but it was one of my favorite dishes. These look wonderful!

6 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 2:04 am

Thanks Laura, you have got to try making your own clams they are a cinch once you get past the de-gritting.

7 Nami | Just One Cookbook August 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm

What a delicious steamed clam dish! I haven’t had a chance to eat Top Neck Clams and now I’m curious to taste it. Florida beach looks so pretty! I’d be in seafood heaven too. Thank you so much for the mention a couple of times in this post. 🙂 How coincidence that I have something to share on Monday for you next. 😉

8 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 2:03 am

Thanks Nami, I owe my clam adventure to you :), this dish is so out of my comfort zone and I love it!

9 The Café Sucré Farine August 19, 2012 at 8:16 am

Suzanne, I’ve never been a huge clam lover but I might change my mind – the ginger and lemon with a touch of heat sound wonderful!

10 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Oh Chris I was the same as you but this was really good, I was really taken by surprise at how much I did enjoy the dish, so I hope you do try them sometime.

11 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts August 19, 2012 at 9:46 am

What a gorgeous dish! I have tried a couple of Nami’s recipes, and they are always delicious! My husband would be in heaven with all of that seafood. I am not a huge fan, but that market is incredible.

12 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Thanks Erin, I know what you mean I’m not a huge seafood lover but in small does I can handle it and if it’s fresh it really makes a difference.

13 Debbie August 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

What a neat surprise to read your blog and discover you’ve been here to my hometown. We do have some of the prettiest beaches around, if I do say so myself.

The seafood store is a place called Joe Patti, after the founder who has long since passed and now his son, Frank Patti, owns and operates the place. There is also an awesome little gourmet food shop opposite to the seafood store and in one corner of the establishment there is a little sushi shop. My husband and I treat ourselves to sushi from there every so often.

Now I have a good reason to run down to Joe Patti’s…for some of those clams! I am so going to have to give this a go.

I’m very happy you and your family had such a nice time on your stay here. Love the pictures, too.


14 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Hi Debbie,

How fun that I visited your hometown. We did love it there and how lucky that you are able to go on down to Joe Patti’s for some seafood when you want to. Thanks for sharing the info. on the history of Joe Patti with us too that’s good to know 🙂 The people there in your hometown were some of the friendliest I’ve encountered in a very long time it was refreshing.

15 Patty August 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

Suzanne it looks like you had a wonderful relaxing vacation in a beautiful spot;-)
It’s funny but I’ve been thinking about making clams this Summer, I’ll have to find a good source like you did and give them a try;-) Your photo of the clams is lovely!
Aren’t Nami’s recipes and instructions fantastic?
Enjoy your weekend;-)

16 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Thanks Patty, it was so beautiful makes me want to live down there! You really do need to try some clams Nami, guide was perfect.

17 Amy (Savory Moments) August 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm

These clams look yummy! Very flavorful – good for you to try making something new like this!

18 Suzanne August 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Thanks Amy, it was a bit of a stressful thing until it turned out great!!

19 kyleen August 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm

These calms look amazing! I hate canned clams, but I’d definitely be willing to try some of yours.

20 Suzanne August 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

Thank you, yes canned clams are not too good fresh is much better.

21 Choc Chip Uru August 20, 2012 at 2:06 am

What a stunning seafood recipe my friend, love that it is inspired by your beautiful vacation! 😀

Choc Chip Uru

22 Suzanne August 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

Thanks you, the trip was so fun and the seafood delicious.

23 Lisa August 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I’m glad you were inspired by Nami because your steamed top becks look fantastic. I wish I had a bowl bow..and I wish I was at that market now! I spend hours in places like that lol BTW..I finally caved..I’m a pinner LOL

24 Suzanne August 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Thanks Lisa, Nami is such a great Japanese cook, I wish I lived closer to her to eat her creations. Glad you joined the rest of us pinners! xoxox

25 Sandra's Easy Cooking August 22, 2012 at 9:59 am

Nami inspire me all the time and i am glad that she had that impact on you too. Even though i am not fan of clams your dish look great. I am loving your pictures!

26 Magic of Spice August 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

What a great trip and fantastic seafood market…so much to choose from for sure! And from the look of these gorgeous clams, you made an excellent choice for these beauties!

What a delightful and tasty recipe…gorgeous! I also love everything Nami does…great inspiration from you both!

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