Mussels and clams can make a satisfying and delicious meal when you crave shellfish. Steaming mussels and clams requires an adequate amount of preparation time, but little cooking time. Try the following steps for a tasty shellfish meal.
Start with about 3 pounds of clams and mussels. Scrub your clams and mussels with a stiff brush under cold running water. Discard any clams or mussels that do not close when you tap the shell. De-beard the mussels by puling the threads from the shell.
Soak the clams and mussels in a mixture of 1/3 cup salt to 1 gallon of water for 20 minutes. Drain the water, then repeat this step two times.
Place about 1 cup of water in a large stockpot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then add the clams and mussels, cover the pot, and steam for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the claims and mussels have opened. Remove the mussels and claims from the pot with tongs.
Cut the steamed clams and mussels out of the shells with a utility knife and serve.
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How to Cook Clams in the Shell
- For additional flavor, try using garlic and cooking wine. Before steaming the clams, saute a few cloves of garlic in olive, oil then add about a cup of white wine. Add the shellfish, cover and steam until shells open. You can serve the shellfish over pasta or with melted butter, a lemon wedge and crusty french bread.
- For proper food safety, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that clam and mussels be steamed in their shells for at least four to nine minutes after water reaches a full boil. Be sure to discard any clams or mussels that do not open during cooking.
Sara Kaiser holds a Master of Science in nutrition from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She works to help others find happiness in health in her career as a health coach and yoga instructor.