How to Make the Best Steamed Clams

Recipe Credit: foodiecrush

Small, sweet clams are cooked in a garlicky white wine and cream sauce to create the best sauce for sourdough bread dipping.


  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 pounds small clams or cockles
  • 1½ cups white wine
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes with 1½ cups water or 1½ cups chicken broth
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup cream or half and half
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the garlic and green onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the cockles and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the white wine and bouillon cubes with water or the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a rolling simmer and cook until the clams open up, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the cream and stir. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Serve with sourdough bread.

About the Recipe


At the restaurant this dish was made with cockles, a smaller, soft shelled clam that tastes a bit sweeter than traditional clams. When we lived in Venice Beach, CA, coming across cockles was a lot easier than it is here in Utah. So when we do discover them, we snatch them up as fast as we can and that is what is for dinner tonight.

An important part of making clams or cockles is to be sure to pick through for any half open clams before cooking, and to rinse them thoroughly. Clams are bottom dwellers, living rooted in sand and they get their nourishment from sucking in itty bitties of water and sand along with it. Thus, they have a tendency to be sandy or gritty if not rinsed well. To rinse, place your clams in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. During that time, the clams will siphon in the fresh water and spit out the sand.

If you can’t find true cockles, look for the smallest clams you can find for the most tender bite, such as littlenecks.