Japanese Steamed Clams from Just One Cookbook

Japanese Clams - Just One Cookbook

It’s been fifteen years since we last moved and I had forgotten just how much time and work it requires! Even before the big day arrived there were weeks of planning and preparation, cleaning and organizing. Basically, “the move” has taken over my life for the past month and, sitting here surrounded by boxes, it looks like it will be another month before I might actually feel like I can take the time  for more than one yoga class or workout  a week – not to mention doing any creative cooking and actually writing and photographing it to share here.

moving to the beach

I managed to eek out one post last week, visit some of the blogs I read, pin a few eye-catching recipes to add some fresh content to my Pinterest boards, and take a few minutes in the morning before I attack my to-do list to see what my Facebook friends are up to. When I saw a good friend had shared my recipe for Eggplant Parmesan “My Way”, I clicked on it and, Wow! It’s really an eye-opener to see how much my writing style (if you can call it that) has changed, dare I say, improved. and my photography has progressed, it’s not where I want it to be, but it has improved :) It’s satisfying to know that I’ve learned so much and am continually improving, but it made me feel as if I should revisit at least some of my favorites and give them a fresh look. Eggplant Parmesan “My Way” is a post from 2010; an “oldie but goodie”, it was chosen as a finalist in a friendly, local eggplant challenge – you should try it! I perfected a lower calorie version with a technique of brushing the eggplant with olive oil, then baking it, and cutting more fat and calories by using less cheese and still resulting in a satisfying, robust flavored eggplant parm that even my Bostonian Italian friends declared “molto bene”.

But what does this have to do with those luscious steamed clams in the opening photo? A light went off after seeing the Eggplant Parm, sparking an idea for a “Then” and “Now” series to give some new love to old favorites, but since I haven’t had any time to cook and my cookware and props are in disarray, I’m giving the floor to one of my favorite bloggers, Nami of Just One Cookbook. I had a special interest in Nami’s blog because I’m half Japanese and didn’t know much about authentic Japanese food and she writes about simple Japanese dishes accompanied by great photos, useful information, and easy to follow step-by-step directions. I’ve learned so much about the food of Japan from Nami and often email links to my daughter who is going to Japan in July to study for a semester. Nami’s website is super popular and last year she was named one of San Francisco’s top food blogs. Please welcome Nami and feast your eyes on these succulent traditional sake steamed Japanese Clams.

Hi everyone! My name is Nami and I am the author, cook and photographer behind Just One Cookbookwhere I share mainly quick and easy Japanese recipes.

Today I want to share a very easy Japanese appetizer that is popular in Japan and Japanese tapas-style restaurants in the US.

If you are familiar with Japanese cuisine, you probably know that we don’t typically use chili peppers as an ingredient in our traditional cooking. However this dish does require a bit of chili pepper and you are free to adjust the amount based on your preference, but please remember that Japanese foods use spices and condiments to enhance the natural flavor, not to overpower them. There are many other ways to make Sake Steamed Clams such as adding butter, but I tried to keep this recipe as traditional as possible.

This is a wonderful appetizer for a party especially because you can start preparing it after the guests arrive. Just make sure to de-grit the clams beforehand (or buy de-gritted ones).

Enjoy sake steamed clams in the summer with cold sake or cocktail! Thank you Priscilla for having me here today!

Japanese Clams. Just One Cookbook


Japanese Clams


23 Responses to “Japanese Steamed Clams from Just One Cookbook”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 4 at 8:55 am #

    Wonderful guest post! These clams look quite tasty and remind me of a similar dish I enjoyed in China. I bet the red pepper adds nice heat!

  2. Stephanie June 4 at 9:30 am #

    I didn’t know this dish was so simple! I’ll have to make these one day. Thanks!

  3. We cook a similar steamed clams dish in the Philippines, but just with water as the cooking liquid! I’ll try it with sake next. Priscilla, I didn’t know you are half Japanese! It’s good to know all these little facts about my fellow bloggers :) Best wishes on settling in :)

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 4 at 9:54 am #

    Ohhhh all these stacked boxes in the house reminds me of our moving 5 years ago. I can’t imagine moving after 15 years…that’s a lot of things to pack and unpack. The positive thing is that you can organize everything from the beginning (actually that’s my favorite part!). Good luck unpacking, Priscilla!

    Thank you so much for having me today and all the kind words. I look forward to your series in the future! 😉

    • Priscilla June 5 at 10:43 pm #

      No, thank you, Nami! I can’t wait to make my own sake steamed clams once I’m cooking again :)

  5. Magic of Spice June 4 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Nami, what a delightful guest post and fantastic steamed clam dish! Gorgeous!
    Priscilla, hope you move went smoothly…excited to see the new place :)

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:51 pm #

      Hi, Alisha – unfortunately, this move has been anything but smooth. We’re getting settled though – you have to come visit and tip a glass with me :)

  6. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) June 4 at 11:27 am #

    Nami, so nice to see you here! I love steamed clams but I’ve not tried steaming with sake before. I know this would be great.

    Congrats on the move, Priscilla! Hope you’re able to breathe a little easier now that that’s behind you. Looking forward to the updates on your move. :)

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:50 pm #

      I’ve never had clams steamed with sake before either, but I’m going to try it as soon as I get my kitchen in order :)

  7. Patty June 4 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi Priscilla! Congratulations Nami on such a wonderful and delicious guest post! Steamed clams prepared with Sake and ginger, yum! The stack of boxes photo says it all about moving;-)

  8. Lisa June 4 at 10:41 pm #

    It’s amazing when I look back on my really old posts, how much my photos have improved, but they’re still not even close to where they should be and where I want them to be. I’ll never take those old photos down or change them because it shows how far I’ve come. That said, I must try that eggplant recipe of yours, and these clams look sensational. Great guest post by Nami – love her blog!

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:59 pm #

      Hi, Lisa – we continue to learn and improve and that’s a good thing :) I’m not going to take mine down either, but it’s been too long since I made Eggplant Parm and I think I’ll write a new post with a new pic.

  9. Sandra's Easy Cooking June 4 at 11:06 pm #

    I can imagine all the hard work that involves moving…not pretty, and i hope you will rest soon and enjoy your new home.
    Very nice to see Nami here! I am not much into clams but my boys in the house are. Love the easy and flavorful way to prepare them. Nami you did very good job, fantastic photos as always!

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:46 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words, Sandra – I wish Nami was cooking this at my house, so I don’t have to make dinner 😉

  10. Jamie June 5 at 3:30 am #

    Now you have me freaking out because we are just starting to think about our move – we don’t know when the apartment will actually be empty and ours! And we are downsizing (no big beautiful kitchen like the one in your photo). so have to get rid of and sell tons of stuff before we even pack. But I still love moving – it is like starting over!

    I love clams and the Japanese flavors are wonderful. Maybe I need a bowl of this to keep me strong while I dive into our own packing.

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:41 pm #

      Best of luck, Jamie! Unfortunately, that big beautiful kitchen is the one I’m leaving :( I’m having a difficult time adapting to the new kitchen, which is smaller than I thought.

  11. I feel your pain with moving! We just moved in November to our temp apartment, and will be moving in the next month to our permanent house. My world is about to be boxes again :(

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:43 pm #

      Erin – I feel for you – two moves in less than a year! This has been a rough move for me.

  12. Oh the idea of moving makes my heart just race. I bet you are glad to be throught the worst of it. Hopefully the unpacking is not to labor intensive and you can soon really relax in your new home. Love that Nami did such a lovely post for you and my hubby would adore this dish! Looks divine!!

    • Priscilla June 5 at 9:45 pm #

      Thank you, Lisa. Yes, the worst is over (almost) and I’m hoping to be able to relax soon :/

  13. Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef June 6 at 3:07 pm #

    I would cheerfully pay someone to do all the packing and unpacking. I hate that job. My heart goes out to you. I hope I never have to move again. :)

    When I saw that photo I thought, “wow, that looks a lot like Nami’s photography.” Then I read the post and laughed. She’s certainly got her own style.

    Love Nami’s food and photos.

  14. Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} June 6 at 6:33 pm #

    looking at your stacked boxes it reminds me years ago when we helped my MIL to move from VA to SC. Such a crazy month that has been :)
    Can’t wait to see your “now and then” series and it was lovely to see Nami here. She’s a doll and her blog is full of delicious recipes

  15. Lori Lynn June 11 at 4:11 pm #

    Congrats on your new home!
    Nami’s clam recipe sounds simply fabulous…

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