Steamed Clams in White Wine

clams in wine1 Steamed Clams in White Wine


When it comes to clams there are only two camps.  You either really really love them or you really really hate them.  As for me I love clams – always have, always will.  Growing up in the Puget Sound we would go clam digging as kids spending hours looking for those suckers.   At the end of the day my mom would prepare our loot by steaming clams and us kids would slurp the savory broth till the lost drop.  We would collect all the empty shells, wash them (or not wash them), and store them in a secret box as our treasure.  Those were the good old days.  Last time I went clam digging was with my husband before having kids.  Lets just say it wasn’t as nearly as fun as I remember as a kid, but eating them these days is just as comforting and delectable.

My favorite method of preparing and eating them is rather simple and very quick.  I like to steam clams in butter, garlic, white wine, and finish it off with some chopped parsley and lemon wedges.  Chopped parsley adds a little earthiness and the lemon slices adds a bit of zest. But in all honestly, neither is as important compared to the butter, garlic, and wine.

Steamed clams make a great starter dish. Or, if you’re like me, the only dish…the main dish (do not come between me and a bowl of steamed clams, or you might… you might get hurt – just sayin’). I told you I really really loved clams. simple smile Steamed Clams in White Wine Anyway, I think you get the idea. Enjoy!

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Steamed Clams in White Wine, Garlic, and Butter Recipe
Serves 2-4 people as an appetizer

3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry Vermouth
2 pounds of clams (Littlenecks or Manilla), rinsed and cleaned
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
*optional 1 small lemon cut into wedges

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant but not burned. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high until wine is brought to a simmering boil. Add clams and cooked covered for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until clams have opened. Discard any clams still closed. Add parsley and give the pot a quick stir. Transfer clams and broth to a large serving bowl, serving with lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

PS:  Don’t forget to have some crusty rustic bread to dip into the clam broth – don’t ask questions, you’ll thank me later.

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  1. paul callicoat says

    Thanks for the recipe. I cooked my clams just like this but exchange cilantro or basil for the parsley for a different taste.I make my own sourdough bread and timed it to take out the bread to cool and then make my clams which I have put on ice from the beaches up by Hood Canal Bridge on the Olympic Penn..I usually go once or twice a week from Feb. to closing of the beaches(may15).The beaches further south on the west side are open later in the year and a bit further to drive so I don’t go as often.I also make rustic and lean breads which come out pretty good and require a day or so less to make than sourdough.Oysters can be cooked the same way but must be shucked and I put a good amount of parmesan reggiano on them before serving.Good digging and eating to all.

  2. says

    We are staying in my boyfriends family home ( since 1940) on the pugent sound near Kingston
    Going to dig claims today. Haig told me to google a recipe and your’s came up first
    Very excited to try it

  3. says

    Great recipe, but please don’t tell me you use 3 tbsp of butter for two pounds of clams… that wouldn’t even get them wet! I use at least one stick of butter… and at least one cup of wine… and at least 6 cloves of garlic. That keeps the clams from dring out, and also gives a lot of great broth to sop up with the crusty bread! A shake or three of parmesan cheese doesn’t go awry, either.

  4. Lisa says

    I did clams with a wine sauce much like this once, but in the end my fave way to steam clams is over a fool Wrapped grill over a backyard fire & then dipping them in a buttery garlic Sauce on the side. I think it was the wine taste that tasted off to me the one time I tried it on the stove like this.
    Why I’m posting this is to ask if you or anyone else can suggest a tweak to this recipe for replacing the wine? Would a little water work instead? I love the natural juices the clams make when steamed, & dipping it in a butter & garlic sauce is my fave, but I’d like to try cooking them in the sauce , but all the recipes I find call for wine or beer & I personally would rather use something else.
    Any ideas are hugely appreciated! Have a beautiful day.

  5. Katherine says

    This has been my go to recipe for years. Simply perfect. The last time I prepared this dish I saved the broth (that didn’t get sopped up with delicious bread) in the freezer and used it as the “clam juice” portion in my clam chowder recipe. Equally as awesome. Great recipe, great photos!

  6. Cliff w says

    Love this recipe. It’s my girlfriends favorite thing I make. I do everything the same except I add some red pepper flakes for a little kick.

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