My local fish market called the other day.

Them: We have a note that you had recently inquired about razor clams.  Still interested?
Me: Yes.
Them: When do you want to pick them up?
Me: On my way (as I’m running out the door)….be there in a few minutes.
Them: Wow, that was fast.

Had razor clams for the first time in Spain a few years ago and was instantly hooked.  Sadly, I rarely come across these lovely creatures in the United States.  I have no self-control when it comes to such culinary treasures.  So, when luck arises such that I encounter razor clams, they invariably wind up on my plate.

I write this post not so you’ll go out in search of razor clams, but rather so if you happen upon them, you’ll snatch them up, knowing you have a plan of action on how to prepare them.  Simplicity is best.  Nothing more than steaming them in a little extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, chiles de árbol, and white wine.


In addition to your local fish market, keep your eyes open at Asian markets, as razor clams may be lurking there.  Because razor clams are scarce, you could substitute with more readily available cherry stone clams. The garlic-parsley-wine sauce is the perfect accompaniment for these bivalves.  Be sure to have some crusty bread on hand to soak up the sauce.  A glass of Spanish white wine, say Albariño, Verdejo, or Godello, is optional, but highly recommended.

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Razor Clams (Navajas al Ajillo)

serves 2-4
recipe slightly adapted from Saveur
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3–4 dried chiles de árbol, crumbled
1 1⁄2 pounds razor clams, rinsed thoroughly
1⁄4 cup white wine
1 1⁄2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
sea salt, to taste

Heat the oil, garlic, and chiles in a 12″ skillet over medium heat.  Cook until the garlic is pale golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.  Increase the heat to high, add the razor clams and wine, and cook, covered, until the clams open and are just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the parsley and season with sea salt.  The razor clams to coat with the sauce.

Transfer clams to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining sauce.  Serve with some crusty bread and dry white wine.

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