Steamed Clam Bellies with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Clams are called bivalves because they have two valves, one to take in nutrients and another to expel them. However, they also take in sand. You can get rid of this by soaking them for about 35 minutes prior to cooking.

Serves: 2Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 2


  • 3 quarts plus ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 24 large soft-shell clams
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • Wash the clams under cold running water. Combine 3 quarts water with cornmeal and add clams. Soak clams for 35 minutes. Remove clams from soaking water.
  • Heat ½ cup of water in a steamer or large pot. Add the clams and cook until they open. Using a slotted spoon, remove clams to a bowl and reserve juices.
  • Make sauce by heating the butter and lemon juice. Serve the clam juices and sauce in separate bowls on the side.