"Clams on a stick" north coast delicacy

"Razor Clams, Yummy!!!"

"Krusteaz Pancake Mix dredged razor clams going into the frying pan"
"Krusteaz Pancake Mix dredged razor clams going into the frying pan"
"Right out of the frying pan"
"Right out of the frying pan"
"What a feast" left to right, Alex, far back little Savannah taking a nap, Bob, Mom and myself
"What a feast" left to right, Alex, far back little Savannah taking a nap, Bob, Mom and myself

Great music for clam digging

The following is a story about catching razor clams in Oregon and a recipe for razor clams on a stick follows.

I was very fortunate to have been raised on the Oregon and Washington coast. My dad was a commercial fisherman and logger, when the fishing was not in season he would work in the logging industry.

We kids, my two sisters and myself, were lucky to have a mother who enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes all the time. I can not remember a time that we all did not sit down at the table especially for the evening meal, there were times that dad could not join us because he was fishing and sometimes he would be out in the ocean for a week or more.

We had many different varieties of seafood, tuna and shrimp, Dungeness crab and Chinook salmon, and the list could go on.

What stood out the most for me were the Razor Clams. These clams have a long neck that sticks out and they live in the wet sand along the shore. At an early age we were taught how to go about catching these little critters. When the tide goes out that is the time to go clam digging, especially after a storm or high tide. A lot of times this would involve dragging yourself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. For a young kid this was not a pleasant task. First you would have to bundle up with sweatshirts, sometimes long johns underneath. Hip boots were a must but sometimes you could get away with knee high rubber boots, but they could fill up with cold sea water, if you were not careful.

Once we had all this gear on we would pile into the car or pickup and head for the beach. Clam shovels were mainly used, there were other devices but not as eeffective. The shovels were like an ordinary garden shovel with long handle. T he difference was that the blade was longer and more tapered with a curve on the head.

We would attach a clam sack around or waist. This was like a mesh net that water would go through. It was long and trailed on the ground behind you. There were times when it still was not daylight and you had to carry a gas lantern, which was tricky, until you got the knack of it.It was cold, windy and rainy most times, but once you got on the beach you were all excited and forgot about the elements around you.

Now its an art in itself, digging clams. First you invert the clam shovel and use the handle to tap the sand. Soon, if your lucky, there will appear a small crater, hole or indention in the sand, sometimes there will be a squirt of water like a little geyser. Quickly you turn the shovel with the head down and dig about three inches away from the hole, never come down directly on the hole or you will smash the clam. Once the shovel has gone down in the sand you remove it quickly upward with the sand coming with it and then very quickly reach down and grab the clam and toss it into the clam sack. Years ago when there were plenty of clams you could get a clam license and dig them by poundage. Now they have a limit of I think maybe 15 per person, and at times you cannot dig them at all, depending on how many there may be.

And now that you have caught your clams lets discuss the best part - serving clams on a stick. I have attached a great video on the preparation and cleaning of clams which I hope you will view. Following is a recipe for frying clams:

One dozen razor clams, shelled and cleaned                                                                                    

2 cups of Krusteaz pancake mix

1/4 cup of milk

4 eggs

Canola oil (coat the bottom of fry pan)

1 dozen Ka Bob sticks

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce for fried clams:

1 cup of mayo

½ cup of ketchup

2 table spoons lemon juice

Combine the eggs with milk and mix well. Place clams in egg mixture and than dredge the clams in the Krusteaz pancake mix. You may want to put the clams on wax paper until they all have been coated. Now that the oil is really hot carefully add the clams. Clams do not take very long to cook.

In just a few minutes make sure the batter is turning golden brown then turn clams over and watch them carefully. I would say cook for, at the most, 3 minutes or less all together. Remove the clams and lay them on paper towels. Let the clams cool for a short time and than take the KaBob stick (skewer) and from the boot of the clam insert the tip and push it up and weave it in and out until you get to the neck.

You now have a clam on a stick! You can drizzle the sauce over the clam or dip it. Hope you enjoy this! (the necks may be a little chewy and some people will pound them with a meat tenderizer before frying)

I would like to thank, Razor Clam Cleaning - A How To with a Special Trick! for letting me share this great video on clam cleaning.

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Comments 17 comments

mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

Yes, yes, mmmmm yummy clams on a stick! Never ever heard of this before, but it's sounding good! I picture you as a little boy with a big ol' clam sack out there on the cold windy beach before the sun is even up digging clams! You've got to tell us the story of the "Clam Shack" next!

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Thank you Meg, I promise that I will write another Hub on the Clam Shack. I have been in a rut and it sure feels good to get back on the Hup pages. One thing that stands out was how cold the water was of course the clams love that. Thanks so much for your comment.

mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

Watching that video made me have to go pee! you should have warned me!

Sherry Mullins 6 years ago

Dear Brother, Love this post . Oh how sweet the taste of the elusive razor clam.

The memories are just as sweet. Although I personally never went down and dug the clams I spent many an early morning sleeping in the car while the rest of the family dug. I guess at first I was too young later not sure what my excuse was for not digging. Those sweet yummy clams were such a big part of our life as childern. Dad, Mom, you and even Judy all dug them to sell for extra income. Most of our relatives also dug young and old alike. We even had a one armed distant realative who was actually the top commercial digger on the beach for years. You also all worked at different times in our Aunt and Uncle Snells Neap Tide Clam Cannery, east of Seaside, Or. For my part I was the first one to work in the Clams A Go Go clam on a stick shop that our parents along with the Snells owned and operated on Broadway in Seaside, Or. during the mid 60's. We also had clam sandwiches, and fritters we sold as clam burgers, all were heavenly.

It was so fun selling clams to hungry tourist but the best part was eating them for sure. Now the memories are sweet of the days spent there in the clam shop with Uncle Snell. He would often go for a walk around the turnaround and always come back with yummy English Toffee from Tom and Larrys.

Judy 6 years ago

Loved the story and the clams look and sound yummy. Seems like you had a great childhood filled with wonderful memories.

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Thanks Sherry, and for filling in alot of the details, I had forgot that we had named the clam shop "Clams a go go" perfect timing I think thats when go-go girls were a big deal. Mahalo, and Aloha

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Hi Judy, what a sweet comment, yes we sure had some good times, they outweighed the few bad times. Wish you could have tried razor clams when you visited Oregon a few years ago, I should have mentioned them to you.

Ron 6 years ago

the food looks great, how lucky you were growing up eating feast's like that. I grew up eating what ever came in a can and a baked potatoe once in a while. great story, thank you for sharing.

George 6 years ago

I never have had razor clams but would like to try them after I read your hub. Thanks for the info.

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Ron thanks for your comment, and hope that your eating better now.

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

George, thanks for the comment and hope you enjoy the razor clams.

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Razor clams on a stick sounds delicious and thanks for the great description of how you caught them.

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

CMHypno, like my sis said they are elusive little critters. After alot of practice you will get the hang of it, they can be very quick to escape. Thanks so very much for reading and leaving a comment.

cuz Barb 6 years ago

I didn't dig too many, didn't like my hands and nails cut! I did sell them for a short time when the price was only $.35 a pound. Clean them, yes! Although not as fast as my mom or brothers. We cleaned them a little different then the video, only using a knife. Eat them? Yes, I was and still am a PRO! I remember working at the "Clam on a Stick." We still have the "Clams a Go Go" sign in the pole barn. Great article again dear cuz.

NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

cuz Barb, yeah your Mom was the fastest. I can not believe you still have the sign. Have thought about writing a Hub on the "Clams a Go Go". Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, Aloha.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Great hub and video. Thank you for the recipe. Oh, I found you on Hmrjmr's hub. Glad I did. I will rate.

We got 500 clams this weekend for cookout!

AG 5 years ago

When is it the best time to pick up clams off a beach after a storm can any one tell me my e-mail address is the bull3121@hotmail.com

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