Sake-Steamed Clams

Sake-Steamed Clams

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This is a delightfully simple and fast recipe for Japanese-style steamed clams in sake (Japanese rice wine) and kombu (kelp) stock. The clams will usually open within 3 minutes of steaming, and overcooking them will result in shrunken clams with a rubbery texture.

See Also: Watermelon Soju Cocktail Recipe

Because of the ease and speed of which the clams cooked, I love to stock up on frozen, vacuum packs of asari clams in my freezer so that I can whip up a quick and gourmet meal anytime. The clams broth is full of umami deliciousness and I will not waste a drop of it. This recipe has very minimum ingredients (just kombu, sake and water), yet full of flavours. I enjoyed this dish with some steamed rice and warmed sake – totally indulgent!

Sake-Steamed Clams

Sake-Steamed Clams

Sake-Steamed Clams Recipe (Asari no Sakamushi)

Step 2 of simmering the kombu will give additional umami (flavour of the sea) to the steamed clams; however, you may skip the step if you do not have kombu.


  • 250 grams asari clams (or any local clams) if using frozen, thaw before use
  • one 5cm x5cm (2 inch) piece of kombu (kelp)
  • 200 ml water
  • 100 ml sake
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped spring onions


  1. Scrub clams with a hard brush, then soak in salted water for at least an hour for the clams to purge out sand and impurities. Drain and rinse clams.
  2. Add kombu and water in pot, bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and discard kombu.
  3. Add clams and sake. Close lid and steam for 2-3 minutes, until all the shells open. Discard any clams that remain closed.
  4. Ladle clams and clam broth to a serving bowl and top with chopped spring onions.

Noob Cook Tip

Discard any shells that remain closed after cooking.