Grandma’s Fried Razor Clams

Fried Razor Clams With Homemade French Fries and Fry Sauce

Fried Razor Clams

Countless Methods But Sometimes Simple is Better

Most people in the Pacific Northwest eat only fried razor clams! There are countless variations of this simple method of cooking clams. Just take into account the numerous oils (olive, canola, sesame, peanut, etc..) to use for frying, and frying pans (cast iron, steel, non-stick, deep-fryer, etc..), also washes (egg, milk, buttermilk, etc.), and finally coatings (flour, panko, ground Ritz, cracker meal, etc..)…. the variations are just endless! Of course, along with all Seaside, Oregon locals, my grandmothers recipe was absolutely the best, as listed in my cookbook; “Grandma’s Bacon Fat Fried Razor Clams”, along with variations for the health conscious; “Ken’s Fried, But Really Baked Razor Clams”; even gourmet recipes like, “Razor Clams With Thai Gastric Sauce, and many more!

Oil Choice is Important (or they won’t get brown)

The good news is there is only one issue you need to really worry about when cooking fried razor clams, if you over cook them they become tough! So although in my book I review twenty oils in detail and why certain ones are best, along with ten cooking options (deep fat fry, cast iron, etc..), to keep it simple, below I recommend canola oil (just don’t use olive oil unless you have to, olive oil has a low smoke point which overcooks the clam before it browns). Along with any household frying pan, just make sure the oil is close to it’s smoke point before adding the clams.

Most Important Tip

Here is one final tip, if you follow most recipes you’ll be eating raw clams, and that’s just bad!  I’ve read hundreds of recipes, on the web and in books over the years, and all of them say cook 1 minute on each side. This might be true in a deep fat fryer, or using a cast iron pan with peanut oil, but for most set ups it just takes longer. A fried razor clam should not be like shoe leather, and it should not be limp (or raw), I like them when they are getting firm, but the necks are still not tough; so use a fork and test a neck if your uncertain.


  • 1-lb Razor Clams
  • 3-eggs mixed with 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 inch deep canola oil
  • tenderizer optional on necks
  • salt to taste
  • lemon slices
  • tarter sauce

Preparation and Cooking Fried Razor Clams

  1. Prepare Egg Wash: Mix eggs and milk.
  2. Prepare Clams: Dry clams to ensure the egg wash and floor adhere to them. Then dunk into the wash and into floor to coat.
  3. Rest Clams: Once floored well, lay clams on aluminum foil. Let them let rest for fifteen minutes (coating will adhere to clam).
  4. Season: Season with salt while resting, and then other side while in pan cooking.
  5. Prepare Your Pan: Add oil to pan, about 1/4 inch. Heat to smoke pint, to keep oil hot don’t add to many clams at once.
  6. Cook Clams: Cook about 1 plus minutes on each side. Make sure clams are not limp (to raw), or to stiff (to tough).
  7. Serve: Add lemon wedges and/or tarter sauce and enjoy!


During certain times of the year, marine toxins, produced by some species of diatoms (algae) are taken in by shellfish. When ingested, these toxins can cause illness and in exceedingly high concentrations can be fatal to humans. So, for that reason clamming during high biotoxin times is not allowed. The Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in cooperation with the Departments of Health (DOH) sample clams on a routine basis. If high toxin levels are detected, clam seasons are delayed or closed. ODFW, WDFW and DOH work extremely hard to provide a safe and fun resource to enjoy for all clammers. Therefore, always contact ODFW or WDFW to check on safety relating to shellfish.

Washington 24 Hour Shellfish Safety Hotline
Phone: 800-562-5632
Alt Phone: 360-236-3330

Oregon 24 Hour Shellfish Safety Hotline
Phone: 800-448-2474
Alt Phone: 503-986-4728