Clam chowder using fresh Pacific razor clams from our own backyard on the pacific coast to make this delicious recipe. With a little wine, a little bacon, and a sprinkle of fresh thyme, this chowder comes to life!
This is a rich and creamy chowder, highlighting freshly caught razor clams in Washington state!
The first time I made this recipe, I fell in love. My husband and I take our little kids razor clamming as one of our many family hobbies on the Pacific Coast. After months of bringing home fresh razor clams, I became extremely creative with my recipes, creating the most amazing meals to feed my husband, our little seafood lovers, and our guests.
Nearing the end of razor clam season, I finally had the urge to try my hand at a classic clam chowder recipe, but with wine, of course.
I added a little wine for added flavor and to lighten up the chowder since I was after a very thick and creamy chowder with just enough bacon to not mask the Pacific razor clam flavor.
Whether you dig your own razor clams, purchase them or want to use other clams to substitute, this recipe is a must-try on a cold day! It's every bit rich, flavorful, and thick - which makes the best creamy bowl of soup in my book!
You may want to double this recipe and freeze leftovers for another day, that's my secret to eating good food with less effort.
Table of Contents
Harvesting our own bounty!
You can't go wrong with this fresh caught seafood clam chowder recipe! Anytime we are using fresh-caught seafood for dinner, like this seafood chowder recipe, it feels like an extra special night at my house. We have so much more to talk over for dinner.
Our Pacific coast outdoor adventures really turn into such great learning lessons for our kids as well. As we're enjoying our dinner together we often remanence over our catch of the day, the weather conditions, a funny moment, things that went well, things that we can improve on, etc. We are so blessed to have these activities in the PNW to share with our kids!
Be sure to Subscribe and follow along on our journey, and our great recipes! Check out our How To Razor Clam Guide!
What is a razor clam?
Razor Clams are along the Pacific coast, from Alaska down to California.
Do you ever stroll the beach thinking about what creatures are possibly hiding underneath the sand? No? Same here. Until Razor clam season that is, when digging in the sand isn't for building sand castles, but rather to get fresh Pacific razor clams for dinner!
What part of the Pacific razor clam do I use for this recipe?
Here is a diagram that I put together to show the anatomy of Pacific Razor Clam.
This is a quick way to understand what to use in a recipe.
For this recipe, I use every part of the razor clam. The neck being tougher adds a little chew, and the digger is as soft as it gets. The two mixed together is necessary in my books.
What part of the razor clam is most desirable?
The neck of a razor clam is the toughest part and the digger is the softest part. Besides being softer of a bite, many find the digger of the Pacific razor clam to be most desirable because it's much more forgiving to cook than its counterpart.
Aside from the digger, my other favorite part of a razor clam is the muscle. The muscle, which is sometimes overlooked or tossed, is exceptionally soft and buttery. The muscles remind me so much of a scallop.
There are two muscles per clam and they are often thrown out due to improper cleaning.
Read our guide on the Easiest Way to Clean a Razor Clam and learn how to clean your clams correctly, you will be able to save these delicious pieces. Thank us later!
How do you dig clams?
We have a clamming guide on our blog dedicated to this very topic!
Pacific razor clams are along the Pacific coast, from Alaska down. In order to find them, you will need a digging tool such as a clam gun or clam shovel, along with a low tide. Depending on what state you are in, you will need to purchase a shellfish license and watch for approved clam tides. For more information, be sure to head to our Activities page, and go through our articles on everything you need to know before you go razor clamming on the Pacific coast. We have the best guides out there!
How long can you store this razor clam recipe in the fridge?
Once cooked, it can last up to 2 days. However, we typically eat them the day of and the day after at most.
How to thaw?
I typically place the frozen clams in the fridge overnight to thaw. I have noticed that they thaw fairly quickly since they're pretty thin.
INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED
- 8 medium razor clams, roughly chopped
- 2 cups razor clam juice (use chicken broth if you donâ€™t have clam juice)
- ½ cup white wine
- 6 bacon slices, chopped, grease reserved
- 3 cups half & half
- 4 TB butter
- 5 medium potatoes, diced
- 4 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, to garnish
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Cook and stir bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel, reserving drippings in the pot.
- Toss in the pot the butter, potatoes, onions, celery and garlic in the hot bacon drippings until onions are clear, about 8 minutes.
- Add the flour to the pot, stirring for about a minute.
- Add wine, half & half, clam juice, and bay leaves to the pot and stir.
- Bring the mixture to a light simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Check if the potatoes are soft then add razor clams to the soup and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle bacon on top of the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
WHAT TO EAT WITH CHOWDER
- Sides: Toasted French Bread and salad
- Drinks: White Wine
- Dessert: Sorbet
If you end up with extra clams, make my Razor Clam Pizza Recipe! It is so fresh!
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. Please share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
FOR THIS RECIPE, YOU WILL NEED
- A Cutting board. I've had this style of cutting board for years and love having multiple lightweight options, for meals where I'm using veggies and seafood.
- A knife.
- A large pot.
- Measuring cups.
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Razor Clam Chowder
- 2 cups clams, chopped , use razor clams or steamer clams
- 2 cups razor clam juice substitute for chicken broth
- ½ cup white wine
- 6 slices bacon chopped, grease reserved
- 3 cups half & half
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 5 medium potatoes diced
- 4 stalks celery ribs chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 bay laves
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Johnny's Seasoning salt, or sea salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme garnish
- Cook and stir bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel, reserving drippings in the pot.
- To the pot add the butter in the hot bacon drippings, and cook until onions are clear, about 8 minutes.
- Then add the celery, potatoes, and garlic.
- Add in the flour, and stir for about a minute.
- Next, pour in the wine, half & half, clam juice, and add the bay leaves and stir everything together well.
- Bring the soup to a light simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
- Check if the potatoes are soft then add razor clams to the soup and cook for about 5 minutes, while the soup is simmering. Razor clams are always last in line to cook since they don’t take much time.
- Sprinkle bacon on top of the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm!
- If you don't have fresh thyme, substitute it for dried, and add it to the soup at the end along with salt and pepper.
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