room Kenai River Fishing Lodge in rural Soldotna, AK.
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Razor Clams

Razor Clam Digging

Razor Clams are abundant on the beaches of Cook Inlet. These delectable clams can grow to 8 or 9 inches and in some cases even more. We dig razor clams on the minus tides using either a clam shovel or clam gun. Experienced clam diggers usually prefer the clam shovel and will find a clam show (a dimple on the sand).  They gently dig on the water side of the show as the clam will start to dig toward the water when it senses the digging activity. It is advisable to wear rubber gloves when digging clams as the edge of the shell is like a razor blade, hence the name. There is a lot of clam meat in a razor clam and they are delicious.

Once you have your limit of clams, it is now time to think about cleaning them. First we rinse them in fresh water to get rid of any sand. Then we have found that if we quickly dip them in boiling water followed by putting them in an ice water bath. This will loosen the abductor muscle and the clam shell will easily open to allow you to take the clam out. Once out of the shell, you must then clean out the “guts” of the clam from the body, split open and clip the tip of the siphon (the neck), and then open and clean the digger (foot). We separate our clams into these three different parts.

To cook these tasty morsels, we generally bread them and then fry them.  Some folks fry the entire clam as one piece.  We prefer to separate the parts of the clam, saving the foot and body for frying and chopping the neck for chowder. These clams are considered a true delicacy.