Littleneck Clams with Soy Sauce

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Littleneck Clams with Soy SauceGrilled clams are an iconic Tokyo dish, especially in the old fisherman neighborhoods that ring Tokyo Bay, which was once teeming with shellfish. Called yakihama (hamaguri are a kind of large clam available in Japan), this cooking tradition reaches back hundreds of years. The littleneck clams that are available here are a good substitute. Mitsuba is a fresh-tasting Japanese herb available at Japanese markets. If you can’t find it, you can also use cilantro or flat-leaf parsely.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 24 littleneck clams (larger ones are better)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup sake
  • ½ cup chopped mitsuba, for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Rinse the clams under cold running water to remove any caked-on sand or mud. Whisk together the soysauce and sake in a bowl to make the marinade; set aside.
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-hot. Place the clams directly on the grill. After about 2 minutes they’ll start to open. (Discard any clams that don’t open.) Using 2 pairs of tongs, or tongs and a large spoon, carefully pry the shells open completely. Pour about 1 teaspoon of the marinade over each clam. As soon as the clams begin to froth and boil, about 1 minute more, pull them off the grill. Make sure not to overcook the clams or they’ll get rubbery. Garnish with the mitsuba and serve.

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