Seafood 101 with Locals Seafood: Clams

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While Locals Seafood can’t guarantee the soft sound of seagulls cawing in the distance as you dine on a shady deck with a light northeast breeze blowing, they can promise fresh, locally-caught seafood, straight from the fisherman's boat, within arm’s reach of those of us who live in the Triangle. Since 2010, they’ve been making trips up and down North Carolina’s pristine coast to bring home the finest seafood our waters have to offer.  It's as close as you'll get to catching the fish yourself. And, chefs like Ashley Christensen, Andrea Reusing and Ricky Moore agree — Locals supplies many of the tastiest restaurants in the Triangle.

This month, we’ve all teamed up bring you a recipe series using their fine seafood. We’re going to run the gamut of species here, so hold on tight and get ready to do some cooking of your own. All of these recipes are simple and easy — even for the novice cook who doesn’t have much experience with seafood — and we want to see what you're trying at home, so make sure to share your dishes on social media under the hashtag #BandGLocalsSeafood!

To purchase seafood from Locals, catch them at:
Raleigh State Farmers Market (at their booth inside, Thursday-Saturday, 10am-4pm;  Sunday, 11am-3pm)
Western Wake Farmers Market (Saturday, 8am-12pm)
Chapel Hill Farmers Market (Saturday, 8am-12pm)

Follow their tips for how to care for your seafood after you purchase it.

Be the first to know about Locals Seafood's catches-of-the-day by following them on




Bobby & Susan Cummings, New River, NC


Firm texture, mild flavor, mild brininess.


You can buy fresh clams all year long.


Locals Seafood sells live clams. You can cook and eat them right away, but we recommend purging your clams prior to cooking to guarantee minimal grit if you have the time. To purge, submerge in a solution of 1/3 cup salt to 1 gallon of water for 30 minutes. Change the water and repeat this process 2-3 more times.


Keep live clams in a bowl or open bag on the top shelf of your refrigerator, where the temperature is warmer (usually around 40 degrees). Do not cover or add fresh water. Use within four days from purchase for best results. If they've popped open, they're no longer any good, so toss them.


If a recipe requires you to shuck clams before cooking, freeze clams for half an hour or more beforehand. To shuck, hold clam and insert clam or pairing knife between the shells and twist knife, cutting around the seal of the shells slowly. Remove the top shell and cut clam out of the bottom shell. Pro tip: drain the remaining broth using a cheesecloth to filter any sediment and save for use in soups and chowders.


Clams are, perhaps, one of the most abundant and readily available seafood resources we have in North Carolina. Unless the harvest area is closed due to rain, Locals Seafood can get clams every week of the year. They are arguably underutilized, inexpensive, delicious and healthy, making clams a great option for everyone. You may hear clams named differently — littlenecks, middlenecks, topnecks and chowders — based on their size, though they're all the same species.



2 dozen clams
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 tbsp. seafood seasoning (available at Locals Seafood)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Melted butter
Lemon wedges



Serves 2 people.

Scrub clams thoroughly, discarding any shells that are cracked or open.

Combine water, wine, Old Bay seasoning, and pepper in a large Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil. Add clams. Cover, reduce heat, and steam until clams open, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove clams with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid. Serve clams hot in shells with reserved clam liquid, melted butter (optional) and lemon wedges. 

Pro tip: save the leftover clam liquid for use in your Bloody Mary!



2 dozen clams
4 slices bacon, chopped
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup margarine or butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped pimento
1½ teaspoon Worcestershire
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup dry white wine



Serves 2 people.

Rinse unshucked frozen clams under cold running water to remove any foreign particles. Shuck clams, reserving half of the shells for use in the recipe as small baking receptacles. Scrub the reserved shells and boil in water for 2 minutes. Remove the shells from the boiling water and drain. 

Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Fry bacon until crisp. Add remaining ingredients except clams and white wine. Cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; remove from heat. Place clams in reserved shells. Arrange shells in a shallow baking pan. Pour wine mixture over clams. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.



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