Bistro Clams

Fresh clams are steamed in a simple sauce of white wine, garlic and parsley. They are then served with lemon and bowls of melted butter. Once the clams are dipped into the butter with a little sprinkle of lemon juice they are divine! My three year old who will generally only eat a few clams when I serve it, probably ate half of the clams I bought. I think I am going to have to start buying more clams! Butter makes everything better. And since we used high quality, high nutrient, Kerrygold butter, it tasted really, really good. Definitely one of our absolutely favorite ways to eat clams.

I recently had clams like this at a favorite little bistro at the beach. I liked the dish so much, my husband got it for me “to go” the next night to eat on the beach by our fire. I’ve been meaning to try to make a copycat recipe ever since we got home, but only got to it last night. Now that I know how easy it is to make, I think that I will be making these clams often! I’ve been taking naps and getting up right before dinner time (it’s that last trimester tiredness, I am telling you!) and feeling really groggy. These were on the menu, and I was so thankful that they only took a few minutes to throw together. A truly fast food.

Clams also happen to be one of the very best sources of iron and vitamin B 12 along with a omega 3 fatty acids. So they are delicious and full of important nutrients too.

Bistro Clams- Serves two

1 pound ofย  small, live manila clams*
3/4 cup of white wine (dry)
3 garlic cloves
Several tablespoons chopped parsley
4 tablespoons melted butter
Half a lemon, sliced into small wedges

1)Rinse the clams several times with cold water, scrubbing with a brush if needed. Remove any clams that won’t close when gently squeezed and throw away.

2)In a large saucepan with a lid, bring the wine and garlic to a simmer. Dump in the clams and and cover. Let simmer for a few minutes (3-6) or until all of the clams are open. If any don’t open, discard. Add the parsley and give a quick stir. Spoon into a serving bowl and pour the cooking liquid over them.

3)Serve with spoons to help remove the clams from the shell, lemon slices and the melted butter. It’s also wonderful with some bread on the side to soak up some of the cooking liquid.

*When you buy live clams, make sure that you don’t suffocate them in transport or at home. They should always have breathing room. I rinse them when I get home, and then lay them in a pie pan with a damp cloth over them. I cook them that night or the next.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Lanise says

    Looks great, especially since I need to get more b12. What if I don’t have white wine? Can I use something else? Thanks.

  2. says

    I love sea foods! I will definitely give this a go. I’m into cooking and making copycat recipes are really a lot of fun especially when your kids and hubby are loving it. Sometimes, my kids will even say, it’s better than Chili’s or than TGIF’s, lol! I know they’re just being nice, so I can’t really tell them that the idea is to actually get the exact taste of those dishes, lol! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Jean says

    This sounds so good…Thanks! Also, do you remembering awhile back you posted on your Chantal fry pan? I was wondering how you are liking that now that you’ve had it for long enough. Good review or bad? I am contemplating it to replace a non-stick of mine. Thanks!

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Jean,

      I still love it! I use it almost everyday. While it may not be like nonstick (though I can hardly remember what cooking with nonstick is like now), I do find that food doesn’t stick as easily and it’s much easier to clean.

  4. Beth says

    Can’t wait to try the clams! (Just wish I didn’t live smack dab in the middle of the country – MN.)
    Speaking of pans, do you have an opinion about the supposedly “green” Cuisinart Green Gourmet pans — apparently made from 70% recycled steel, with a “nonstick” coating that’s PTFE/PFOA-free. The WAPF journal recommended avoiding anything with a nonstick coating, even fancy ones aimed at the gourmet foodie crowd. I think that article was before this new Cuisinart line, so I’m curious if you’ve heard anything yay or nay.

    • says

      I am curious about what Kimi thinks about those, too, Beth. My Mom recently bought one of those, I believe, and she is very happy with it. She is very particular about what she uses, too. I have not looked in to them, yet.

    • KimiHarris says


      I haven’t read up really recently about them. But I know that from reading about them formerly, I wouldn’t personally purchase them. Even if they are PTFE/PFOA-free, I am sure that they could have other chemicals with unknown effects. That’ s just my personal feeling. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Kathleen says

    Oh, these clams reminded me of growing up with my dad. He’d bring home seafood from work (he was a cook in the Coast Guard) and would cook lobster, clams, oysters, crab, etc. We lived on both the West Coast or the East Coast, and seafood was a regular part of my diet growing up.

    It’s been years since I’ve had clams or seafood, and when I read your post I was LONGING for it. So, wasn’t it funny when Elizabeth and I went to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant and they had clams on the menu! I had a nice serving, but sadly no clarified butter.

    I’m looking for a good source to purchase clams; where would you recommend I get them? Should I be concerned about regular grocery store clams?

    • KimiHarris says


      Farmed clams are actually generally just “farmed” right in their natural environment, so I feel very comfortable eating them. I get mine at New Seasons Market (6 dollars a pound). I’ve also seen them at Asian Stores (like Fubonn’s on 82nd, I think), for $4 dollars a pound, though I haven’t bought them before. I am sure that there are other fish markets and such, but I don’t personally know of any very near to either of us.

  6. Bonnie says

    I’ve heard that a good way to get the sand out of your clams is to put a bit of oatmeal in their
    soaking water for a couple of hours. They feed on it and in the process spit out the sand.
    It works quit well. I’m in clam heaven here too on Vancouver Island.

  7. Bonnie says

    —more clam trivia for the uninitiated….
    Where ever you buy your clams ASK the shop which are the freshest and which are the sweetest. Then give the open ones a sharp knock and see if they close up quickly. If it doesn’t close at all it has gone to heaven and discard. If it’s already locked up tight it is good most of the time. They usually open if they’ve expired.


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