science environment

How To Cook A Geoduck

By Toni Tabora-Roberts (OPB)
Jan. 27, 2014 7 a.m.

As China’s ban on West Coast shellfish continues on, geoduck purveyors are looking to bump up demand for the unique clam at home.


Geoduck is a prized delicacy in China, but many diners here in the Northwest have never tried it. Perhaps one of these recipes will whet an appetite for the clams, which go for $100 a pound in China.

Are you a geoduck fan? Share recipes and photos below. Thanks to the chefs who shared their recipes with us.


By Josh Green, Executive Chef at Ballard Annex Oyster House

Geoduck chowder is on the regular menu at the Ballard Annex, a seafood restaurant in a historic Seattle neighborhood. The Vashon Island island native Green shared his recipe.

Chef Josh Green enjoying a bowl
of geoduck chowder.

2 cups celeriac, medium dice
1 cup parsnip, med dice
1 cup celery, med dice
1 cup onion, med dice
3 cups Yukon gold potatoes peeled, med dice
1 cup turnip, med dice
6 Tbsp butter, whole
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups clam stock
3 cups heavy cream
3 lbs. geoduck, ground
3 tsp salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 tbsp fresh parsley

In a heavy-bottomed stock pot melt the butter and add the celeriac, parsnip, celery, onion, turnip and garlic and cook until the vegetables have softened.  Add the flour and cook until all the flour has been absorbed.  Slowly add the clam stock and bring this mixture to a simmer and add the potatoes.  Stir occasionally and once the potatoes have softened, add the cream, spices and ground geoduck. Cook simmering for another five minutes and add the parsley.


By Michael Gifford, Chef at How To Cook A Wolf

Reporter Ashley Ahearn visited with Gifford at his Seattle restaurant. He spoke about his first experience with geoduck when he first came to Seattle from the East Coast and prepared this dish for her.

1 geoduck

juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 blood orange, skin and pith removed and segmented
2 baby fennel, sliced thinly on a mandolin
2 radish, sliced thinly with a mandoline
nice sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Rest the geoduck on a shelf with the siphon hanging over the edge for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath.

When the geoduck is relaxed and the siphon has stretched out put into boiling water quickly (no more than 30 seconds). Quickly take out and plunge into icebath. Remove and pry open shell, remove ball like intestine sac and discard. Grab the loose skin and pull away, leaving the siphon and mantle. Slice where the siphon and mantle meet, saving the mantle for pasta or chowder. Next slice siphon in half length-wise and rinse out any residual dirt. Thinly slice siphon with a sharp knife. Combine geoduck, radish, fennel, lemon juice,orange segments and olive oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Arrange on a serving platter or among 4 plates and drizzle remaining juice over.


By Miranda Belarde-Lewis, adapted from this recipe, with contribution from Lilian "Eenie" Abler

This recipe was shared with us by Belarde-Lewis, who is originally from New Mexico. She'd never heard of geoduck until about 10 years ago. Her partner's family is from Suquamish. She says they've been eating geoduck probably since as long as the Suquamish have been here.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup clam juice
2 eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons butter, melted
3-4 geoduck clams (ground in blender or food processor)
coconut oil (for frying)
sweet chili sauce (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking dish with paper towels and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl. Add the clam juice, eggs, and almond milk and beat thoroughly with a wire whisk. Fold in the butter and geoduck.

Fill a large saucepan or wok halfway with coconut oil and heat to 375 degrees. Very carefully, drop large spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, or until the fritters are golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels, then transfer the fritters to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

To serve, divide the fritters among individual plates and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Note: Geoducks can be tricky and messy to clean. Any good fishmonger will be glad to clean the giant clam as you desire.


By Eric Scigliano

This simple preparation of geoduck was shared by Scigliano, writer with Washington Sea Grant and Crosscut.

Soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Sesame oil
Shredded fresh ginger
Cracked red pepper

Dip the whole clam in boiling water for 10 seconds, then in ice water, to facilitate separating the meat from the shell and peeling the skin from the siphon.

Thinly slice siphon (“neck”) and mantle (“muscle”) on the bias. If it’s a really big duck, you may want to split it lengthwise first for more manageable bite-size bits.

Prepare dipping sauce by combining soy, vinegar and sesame oil to taste. Finish with shredded ginger and red pepper.

  • Watch Top Chef Shows How To Cook A Geoduck

-- Toni Tabora-Roberts