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Steamed Clams with Soy Sauce Butter



Yield: 2-3


Prep Time

10 minutes (plus de-gritting time: 4 hours)


Cook Time

10 minutes

kikkoman products used:


2 ½ lbs manila clam
1 green onion
1 garlic
1 tablespoon butter, for sautéing garlic
⅓cup sake
1 tablespoon butter for seasoning
2 teaspoon Kikkoman® Less Sodium Soy Sauce
6 cups water
3 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. Live clams should be cooked within 48 hours of purchase. Discard any clams that remain open when tapped with fingers. Rinse the clams under cold water.
  2. Place sieve inside a large tray and put the clams in a single layer.
  3. Combine 6 cups water and 3 tablespoons salt in a large bowl and mix well until salt is completely dissolved.
  4. Pour salt water into the tray. The water level should be right around the clam’s mouth. If there isn’t enough salt water then make more using the same ratio of water and salt.
  5. Cover the top with aluminum foil leaving some space at the corner for air.  Keep it in a cool dark place (or fridge) for 3 hours. This should give the clams enough time to purge sand and grit.
  6. After 3 hours, take out the sieve and drain the water. Clean the tray and wash the clams with a brush under cold water.  Place the clams back in the sieve.   
  7. Add fresh water into the tray and set aside for 1 hour to de-salt. Without this process, clams can taste too salty from the salt water.  After 1 hour, remove clams from water.  The clams are now ready for cooking.
  8. Chop green onions and mince the garlic clove.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the frying pan over medium heat and once melted, add the minced garlic.
  10. Sauté garlic until fragrant and add the drained clams.
  11. Add ⅓ cup sake and immediately cover with the lid to steam the clams.
  12. Cook until all the clams are open.  Remove the lid and discard unopened clams.
  13. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 2 teaspoons Kikkoman® Less Sodium Soy Sauce.  Shake the pan to mix the sauce and coat well with the clams.
  14. Sprinkle chopped green onion and serve the clams on a dish.


Even people who love soy sauce and use it all the time are often surprised to learn what it is and how it’s made. We make ours from just four simple ingredients—water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Those ingredients are transformed through a traditional brewing process—much like making wine or beer—that has remained unchanged for centuries.


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