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How to Preserve Manila Clams (Asari) in the Freezer

How to Preserve Manila Clams (Asari) in the Freezer

Asari (or Manila clams) becomes cheaper when they start to fatten up around early spring. I froze a big batch after cleaning them,so that they're ready to use anytime you want.

Ingredients

Manila clams
I had 2.5 kg this time
Water
as much as needed for the clams to be completely submerged
Salt
3~5% of water

Steps

1. Create salt water that's almost as saline as seawater. Use salt made out of seawater instead of rock salt. The ratio is 30 g of salt to a liter of water. Remove clams that have cracked or chipped shells.
2. Spread the clams on something like a shallow container with sieve in a way that the clams don't overlap. Completely submerge the clams under the salt water. Ideally, the clam's tongue will be above water when it protrudes.
3. Quietly make it as dark as possible. I covered them with newspapers. Please note that the clams will spit water.
4. If you look in carefully, you can see the tongue protruding freely from the opened shells. Let it sit for 4 hours~overnight.
5. Once you remove the clams from the salt water, wash off any dirt on the surface by rubbing the clams against each other.
6. Drain and let the clams sit for an hour. This is done to remove any salt. The calms will spit any salt water. Your food will become salty without performing this process.
7. Wash them lightly, and freeze in Ziploc. It will last for a month. Some people say it'll be okay for half a year.
8. If you're making miso soup, put the clams (while they're still frozen) into boiling hot water. Add some miso as soon as the shells open and you can make this into a clam soup. The same thing goes for sautéing this with butter or steaming it with wine; i.e. add the clams to your pot while they're still frozen.
9. It is said that the sand/dirt inside the shells can be cleansed due to the fact that the clam moves around after opening its shells (as opposed to it actually spitting dirt), so make sure the clams don't overlap in the container during this process.
10. Note: If you don't freeze the clams right away, the tongue can come out a bit and thus will freeze that way. It may surprise you a little bit but it's still edible.

Story Behind this Recipe

I thought it'll be cool to be able to use the delicious clams more easily. It turned out to be very convenient when I tried freezing the clams that I received in abundance one time. This time, I bought 2.5 kg of clams at 400 yen at an all-you-can-stuff sale. It turned out to be 5 medium-sized Ziploc bags worth of clams. I can enjoy these for a while with dishes such as wine-steamed clams and pasta.