Shucking clams is an art that requires time, patience, the proper tools and some instruction. With some practice, you’ll be bale to shuck clams like a pro. Beginners are advised to buy a special glove along with a clam knife. Both are available at every Cape Cod hardware store. The glove will protect the hand that holds each clam as it’s opened.
Digging clams on Cape Cod (a license is required) is a fun family activity, but if you don’t want to traipse through muck you can buy them from a local fishmonger.
Unopened clams can be stored in a mesh bag set in a bowl in the refrigerator for several days. Do not store them in a plastic or paper bag. Laying the clams on a bed of ice (don’t cover them with ice) about an hour before you plan to open them makes opening easier. Be sure to wash the clams well before shucking them to remove all traces of sand and grit.
The following recipe was developed by Phil Anderson, an avid boater, skilled clam-shucker and lover of all things Cape Cod.
Clams a la Phil: Preheat a broiler. Place freshly-shucked Littleneck clams on a foil-lined baking sheet, being careful not to spill any of the juice in the clam shells. Sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs on top of each clam. Lay a thin slice of sharp white Cheddar cheese on top of the bread crumbs. Broil clams a few minutes until the cheese melts and both the cheese and bread crumbs start to turn brown.
(Video, Tightline Video)