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PNW Clam Chowder

Updated on August 20, 2012

My husband and I love to go clamming, crabbing, and fishing. He's done these activities all his life, while I started when we got married. Since I never really ate seafood before 2001, I had no idea how to prepare the fruits of our labors. Over the years, I've compiled a variety of recipes from various sources and added my own little tweaks and changes. I found the original version of this recipe on, but made our own changes to accommodate fresh clam and personal taste. To make this recipe, we used about half the catch limit (40 clams).

For instructions on how to prepare fresh, live clams, read How To Prepare Fresh Clams.


Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: About 12 1-cup servings, or 6 soup-bowl servings


  • 1 cup clams, (steamed, rinsed, shelled, minced)
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1 rasher (12 oz) bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cups red potatoes, cubed
  • 3/4 cup butter, unsalted
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart half-n-half
  • 2 tbls red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • To taste ground black pepper
  1. Start frying the chopped bacon in a skillet. Add garlic a little before it's done, so the garlic will carmelize and not overpower the chowder.
  2. While bacon cooks, chop the celery, potatoes, and carrots.
  3. When the bacon is fully browned, add the chopped veg to the pan and cook about 5 minutes longer. When the veg are browned, transfer everything in the skillet to an 8 qt stockpot.
  4. Put the clam juice in w/ veg, add water until just barely covered (about 2 cups water). Cover and cook over medium heat until fork-tender.
  5. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in flour to make a roux. Whisk in half-n-half, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth.
  6. Add the cream roux to the stock pot and heat through, but do not boil.
  7. When heated through, stir in minced clams and heat for about 2 minutes more. Once clams are heated through, stir in the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve immediately (if you cook the clams too long, they'll get tough and chewy).


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