Razor Clams on the Oregon Coast



We had an early morning errand to The Big Town south of us, which led to a surf check, which of course led to me walking the beach while the boy got in the water – “for at least an hour? Please”.  I ran into a surfer friend on the way down with a bag of clams and a shovel and was told my friend, his wife, was still out digging.


We hooked up and chatted and she showed me how to find the clams. Really nice morning.


I passed it on to Jon – and he wanted in on the action! I’m so glad that our guide came back down. She has a good eye for looking for the dot below. You might think they’d be easy to find – but not really. Especially when there are Periwinkles, sand crabs, worms, shrimp, and etc. all playing in the extreme low tide. Like the dot below, when you DO find one, it’s pretty much a sure thing. She’s been on this beach since she was tiny and has an eye for it!


The first step is to find the hole – or it might look like a donut. Then dig a post hole 2-3 scoops straight down quickly. Next, elbow to shoulder deep chase the rascal around and pull him out. She cautioned us to stand direct west to east in front of the hole, on the ocean side. Dig Straight. Then sweep north to south, south to north for the Razor Clam. It isn’t called a razor by chance, you don’t want to slice your hand open.


Thanks to her patience and eagle eye, he got his limit of 15. We used her beautiful porch to clean them off. No photos of either of us in our crazy hair and PJ’s. Ha. Did I mention early morning?


She has a true beach house – perfect finds collected over the years of beachcombing.


Artfully displayed.


She directed me to YouTube videos to learn how to clean the clams.

So this is where I got all ‘bloggy minded’. I’ve lived on the Oregon Coast for most of my life. We’ve clammed. Many times. I’ve never been able to find Razors, and I’ve never liked clams because of the sand. I prefer Oysters, grown in columns, above the sand. What I learned yesterday – is that I, obviously, was trained to find two different types of clams, of which, I don’t like the flavor, AND I’ve never been shown the proper way to clean one.

I agree with her, the easiest way is to be shown, in a video, how to create the clean beautiful pieces on the blue plate above. Really simple. There are two methods, one is a flash boil and a drop into ice water. The other is more of an oyster way, scrape the sides and detach the center with a knife. Since I’m good at that method, I went with the knife. The flash boil might look simple – but you’re still cooking it just a bit, and each cook toughens it up. One tip she gave was to use a meat cleaver on the clam before breading, and I agree, the small step was worth it!


Flour, Salt, & Pepper, Egg Dip, Panko. Another new tip to me is to put the clams on parchment paper in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to 4 hours before a party. They firm up nicely, and you are all ready to fry when the time comes.


Oh – so good. I can’t even try to explain the amazing flavor. I may never be able to order restaurant fried clams again. Another tip? Butter. My stove doesn’t like me getting butter too hot – so I fried it in oil, then dabbed a tiny bit of butter on them while warm. Holy Wow these taste SO good. No sauce. Just Clams.

A tiny part of a crazy adventure day –

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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