Northwest Fried Razor Clams


Seasoned flour (1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon sea salt, teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika)
2 - 3 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko (Japanese-style crumbs)
1 pound medium-size cleaned fresh or frozen razor clams*
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
Lemon Slices
Cocktail Sauce

*If the clams are frozen, thaw them in a colander in the sink so they will not be sitting in water as they thaw (if you don't drain them as they thaw, they will be tough).

Place the flour in a pie pan and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and place the Panko crumbs in a second pie pan.

Dry the clams thoroughly with a paper towel.

Optional: Tenderize clams by pounding with the textured side of a meat mallet - pay particular attention to the tough siphon end. Be careful, as you want the clams to remain in one piece.

Dredge a clam in the flour mixture, dip in beaten egg, then coat both sides with Panko crumbs. Place breaded clam on a rack or plate; repeat process with remaining clams. Let clams stand for 20 to 30 minutes to the breading set up. (hint from another site: do this in the freezer)

While the clams are resting, heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan (cast-iron pan is ideal) over medium-high heat. Add the butter.

When the oil is hot, use tongs or a spatula to carefully add the clams. Do not crowd the clams. Fry for not more than 30 seconds, then flip the clams and continue cooking for an additional 30 second on the other side.

Allow the oil to heat back up in between each round of cooking your clams.

Remove the clams from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat until all clams are cooked and serve as soon as possible while warm. Serve with lemon slices and your favorite Cocktail Sauce or Tartar Sauce.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Notes:

If you proceed without the clams being dry, breading will not adhere to the clams well, and wet clams steaks will result in LOTS of splattering of the hot oil.

Give the oil plenty of time to heat up and make sure it is at the right temperature before you begin. If it is too cool, the clams will soak up oil and be greasy. If it is too hot, the clams will burn on the outside before the inside is cooked. Most foods are fried at 350 degrees F. To gauge the temperature, use a Cooking Thermometer or drop a cube of bread in the oil. If it turns golden brown in 1 minute, the oil is ready to fry in.

It is important not to overcook the clams or they will be tough.

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