Looking for the perfect beachside snack? Our clam cakes are crispy, flavorful, and incredibly satisfying. These bites of coastal bliss will transport you to the New England seaside.
In some circles, these are also called clam fritters. Clam cakes and clam fritters are most popular along the Eastern US seaboard in the states of Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Made with fresh or canned clams, these crispy treats are perfect with a bowl of Clam Chowder. These delicious clam cakes will leave you craving more!
Fresh or frozen little neck clams (quahogs), savory spices, flour, eggs, and a touch of magic— every bite is bursting with flavor.
- Clams: Chopped littleneck steamer clams are the star ingredient, providing a unique seafood flavor and texture. They add moisture and juiciness, making each bite deliciously satisfying.
- Eggs: Eggs serve as a binding agent in the recipe, helping to hold the ingredients together and provide structure to the clam cakes. They also contribute to the texture and help create a tender and fluffy interior.
- Milk: Milk adds moisture and tenderness, making them softer and more delicate. It also helps create a smoother batter consistency and enhances the overall flavor.
- Clam broth: Clam broth is a key ingredient as it imparts a rich and distinct seafood flavor. It enhances the taste of the chopped clams and adds depth to the overall dish.
- Salt: Salt is essential for seasoning the batter and brings out the flavors of all the ingredients. It helps balance the taste and enhances the overall savory profile of the dish.
- Baking powder: Baking powder acts as a leavening agent in the recipe, helping the clam cakes rise and become light and fluffy. It contributes to the texture and ensures a soft and airy interior.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour is the main ingredient that provides structure and bulk to the batter. It helps bind the ingredients together and gives the cakes a tender and cohesive texture when cooked.
How to Make Clam Cakes
Mix, fry, and savor! Our easy-to-follow instructions guide you through creating crispy and irresistible clam cakes in no time. Get ready for a taste of coastal heaven!
Recipe Tips and Kitchen Tricks:
- Use freshly shucked clams for the best flavor. Frozen clams are also good but offer a slightly different texture. Canned clams are easy to find and taste great in this recipe.
- Let the batter rest for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Fry the clam cakes in batches to maintain consistent heat.
- Serve with a dash or two of malted vinegar for a burst of acidity.
- Serve the clam cakes hot with a side of tartar sauce or clam chowder for dipping.
- Spicy Twist: Add chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the batter.
- Cheesy Delight: Mix in grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese to the clam cake batter.
- Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free flour for a GF version.
- Serve as an appetizer with a side of tangy tarter sauce and a dash of malt vinegar .
- Create a seafood feast by pairing clam cakes with steamed lobster and corn on the cob.
- Enjoy as a snack with a cold beer or a refreshing glass of iced tea.
- Serve alongside a bowl of creamy New England clam chowder for a hearty meal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- Q: Can I use canned clams instead of fresh clams? A: Yes, you can use canned clams as a substitute, but fresh clams will provide the best flavor.
- Q: Can I freeze the clam cakes? A: Yes, you can freeze cooked clam cakes. Reheat in the oven or air fryer for best results. For the oven, reheat at 350 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes or the Air Fryer at 350 degrees F for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Q: Can I make the batter ahead of time? A: It’s best to make the batter right before frying for optimal texture and taste.
- Q: Can I bake the clam cakes instead of frying them? A: Frying is recommended for the traditional crispy texture, but you can try baking them at a high temperature for
Wine & Cocktail Pairings
- Chardonnay: The buttery and oaky notes of Chardonnay complement the richness of the clam cakes. The wine’s acidity also cuts through the fried flavors, creating a harmonious pairing.
- Sauvignon Blanc: The crisp and refreshing characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc work well with the briny flavors of the clams. Its citrusy and herbal notes provide a vibrant contrast to the savory clam cakes.
- Rosé: A dry or off-dry rosé with its light and fruity profile is a versatile option. Its delicate flavors won’t overpower the clam cakes, and the wine’s acidity pairs well with the seafood.
- Classic Margarita: The bright and zesty flavors of a margarita, made with fresh lime juice and tequila, complement the seafood and add a refreshing element to the dish.
- Sea Breeze: The combination of cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, and vodka in a Sea Breeze cocktail provides a fruity and slightly tart counterpart to the savory clam cakes, enhancing the overall taste experience.
- Paloma: This tequila-based cocktail with grapefruit soda and lime juice offers a citrusy and slightly bitter profile that pairs well with the seafood flavors. Its effervescence also cleanses the palate between bites.
- Oil , for frying
- 3 large eggs , lightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup clam broth
- 1 1/2 cups chopped clams
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Heat the oil to 350°F.
- Mix all the ingredients together. It should have the consistency of a very thick pancake batter. See the above.When your oil is hot, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Using a tablespoon or 1 oz cookie scoop , drop 1 oz of batter into the hot oil at a time. My small pot holds about 8 at a time. Do not overcrowd the pot.Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 7-8 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt while still hot.
- Canola oil is what I use, but peanut oil is more traditional.
- Be sure to use candy or cooking thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperature. If the temperature is too low, your food will absorb oil. If it’s too high, the food will be dark brown on the outside but undercooked on the inside. Clam cakes should have an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are cooked thoroughly and safe to eat.
- You can freeze cooked clam cakes. Reheat in the oven or air fryer for best results. For the oven, reheat at 350 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes or the Air Fryer at 350 degrees F for 5 to 7 minutes.