*How to de-sand * Place the shijimi clams in a shallow container without overlapping and pour water until the water level reaches right around the clam’s mouth. That's enough for the live clams to be able to breathe.
Adjust the amount of salt to make 1% salt water (it should be less salty than salt water for de-sanding manila clams). Leave the shijimi clams to de-sand for 3-5 hours. If possible, change the water in the middle.
When done de-sanding, wash the clams by rubbing the shells together. Place the shijimi clams in a sieve, and drain the water.
Store the drained shijimi clams in a ziplock, and freeze It can be stored up to 1-2 months.
* How to cook frozen shijimi clams * Take out as much shijimi clams as you like from the ziplock and just start cooking! Immediately return the remaining shijimi clams you won't be using back in the freezer.
If you forget to put the remaining shijimi clams back in the freezer and they have already started to de-frost, go ahead and cook them rather than re-freezing them!
Frozen shijimi clams need to be heated quickly or the shells will not open, so I recommend cooking them over high heat or in boiling water from the start.
Use in miso soup, pasta dishes, steam them in sake, or use them in a variety of dishes.
Story Behind this Recipe
I recieved a lot of shijimi clams as a gift but I wondered, how was I suppose to store all this? So I looked it up. Shijimi clams help combat summer fatigue, revive strength, and regulates liver function. They are packed with vitamin and calcium, 4 times of calcium than manila clams, 3 times the calcium of milk, and vitamins value equivalent to eel! It even helps lowers cholesterol. I was astonished to find out how nutritious shijimi clams are.
It is said that shijimi clams consumes it's own nutrients, so as not to loose the umami flavor, and to retain the plumpness of the fresh shijimi clams, they should be cooked as soon as possible or frozen immediately for later use.