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New England Style Fried Clams

The only part even remotely tricky of this recipe is finding the "corn flour," which is not the same thing as corn starch! Corn flour is just finely ground corn meal. The easiest way to find some is in the "ethnic" aisle where you find Louisiana foods. It's called "fish fry," and if you look at the ingredients it's just corn flour. If you absolutely can't find any, just use more regular flour. It'll be fine.

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 10 minutes
    •    Cook time: 20 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    oil for frying
    •    1 tsp of salt
    •    1/2 tsp cayenne
    •    1 cup all-purpose flour
    •    1 pound shucked clams
    •    1 cup corn flour, as in fishy fry mix
    •    1 cup buttermilk or evaporated milk
    •    1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pick through the clams to make sure there are no bits of shell or obvious grit. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Submerge the clams in buttermilk.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºF and put a rack set over a baking sheet inside the oven. Heat enough oil to float the clams, about a quart or so. What oil? Anything you feel like, but I prefer peanut oil or, well... fresh lard. You want the oil hot, about 360ºF.
  3. When the oil is almost ready, coat a few clams in the breading. Don't do more than your fryer can handle in one batch, as you want the clams to go right from breading into the fryer. If you want super-extra crispy clams, dip the breaded clams back in the buttermilk and again in the breading; I think this is too much, but some people like them that way.
  4. Fry the clams until they are golden brown, about 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Move them to the rack in the oven and repeat with the remaining clams -- make sure the oil gets back up to temperature between batches. Serve with homemade tartar sauce, malt vinegar, remoulade, ketchup or hot sauce.

This great family recipe is thanks to Honest-Food Recipes at


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