Eileen and I like to go up to the Pacific Northwest in the spring and try our hand at steelhead fishing with our good friends Ben and Trina Dragoo. We venture to their home town of Aberdeen where Ben is a drift boat guide. The weather is a constant foe and more often than not it rains like the dickens and the rivers get blown out. Not a great way to spend some valuable time off work.

This year Ben advised us to schedule our trip to coincide with a few days of low “clamming tides”. We took his advice and went up in early February. Sure enough, 4 inches of rain the first day. Not to be deterred we spent a day fishing rainbows in a small reservoir, in the rain. Not quite like catching a chrome steelie, but we caught a few fish and got soaking wet, welcome to Washington!

The next day we journeyed over to the city of Ocean Shores to go clamming on the minus tide. We drove out on the beach and joined the multitude of people out trying to get a limit of razor clams. It is not as easy to find them as you might think, but we managed to get the hang of it and limit out. They are great fried and especially tasty in this clam cake recipe.

Ingredients

Crab Cakes

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • Butter
  • Canola Oil
  • 1 ½ cup roughly chopped razor clams
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning

Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 chipotle in adobo, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation Method
Select a small bowl and a whisk to make the chipotle mayonnaise. Combine the mayonnaise, chopped chipotle, lemon juice, Old Bay, and Dijon Mustard in the bowl. Whisk well until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cakes.

Sautee the onions and bell pepper in a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Just a couple of minutes until the onions turn translucent. Transfer to a large bowl and let them cool. Put a quarter of the clams into a food processor and pulse 5 times. This will chop and tenderize the clams at the same time. Drain the juice off the clams and add them to the bowl. Repeat until all the clams are chopped. Beat the two eggs well and dump over the clams. Add in the parsley, bread crumbs, and lemon juice. Season the mixture lightly with salt, pepper, and Old Bay.

Gently fold together with a spatula. Do not overwork the mixture. Heat a frying pan over medium/low heat with a 50/50 mixture of butter and Canola oil for frying. Use an ice cream scoop to portion the patties. Mold in your hand and put into pan. Press down slightly to flatten. Add the cakes in batches and fry to a golden brown, flipping once, about 3 minutes per side. Don’t move them until the bottom crust forms. The cakes can be loose and will have a tendency to crumble if messed with too much so just let them fry.

Serve the razor clam cakes with the chilled Chipotle mayonnaise. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc goes really well with them, as does a cold pilsner.
Cheers!