Food by VICE

Easy Fried Whole Belly Clams Recipe

The taste of the New England seaside, at home.

by Farideh Sadeghin
Apr 1 2019, 1:00pm

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes


for the cocktail sauce:
½ cup|125 grams ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon, juiced
hot sauce, to taste

for the tartare sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickles
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
1 lemon, zested and juiced, plus wedges, for serving
1 small shallot, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the slaw:
¼ head green cabbage, very finely shaved (about 12 ounces|380 grams|6 cups)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup|60 ml white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon celery seed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the clams:
1 cup|145 grams all-purpose flour
1 cup|145 grams cornmeal
1 tablespoon Old Bay
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup|250 ml buttermilk
vegetable oil, for frying
1 pound|450 grams shucked whole belly clams (about 30 clams)
lemon wedges, for serving


1. Make the cocktail sauce: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 7 days.

2. Make the tartare sauce: In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the capers, pickles, parsley, lemon zest and juice, shallot, salt, and pepper. Tartare sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

3. Make the slaw: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Fry the clams: Mix the flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Place the buttermilk in a separate bowl. Heat 3-inches vegetable oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°F. Working in batches, dip the clams in the buttermilk, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Fry, turning as needed, until golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Repeat with remaining clams. Serve with the cocktail sauce, tartare sauce, slaw, and lemon wedges.