Grilled Clams (Little Neck Clams) はまぐりの醤油焼き

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Grilled Clams Recipe |

My 6 year old son just finished kindergarten last week and our summer has officially began. American schools have a looong summer break.  It varies depending on school districts and which state you live in, but in my son’s case, he’ll have about 10 weeks off!  Oh I wish I have 10 weeks of vacation (…daydreaming…).

When I was growing up in Japan, my summer break was just 5-6 weeks, and I thought that was long.  I’m a bit worried about how to keep up with this active boy while my daughter still goes to preschool every morning during the summer.

Grilled Little Neck Clams |

Today I’m sharing a clam recipe.  Yes, finally.  Thank you for waiting, to those who requested for other clam recipes after my Japanese Clam (Sake Steamed Clams) post back in November.  We eat clams once in a while but they didn’t make it to a post.  Today’s recipe comes in very handy if you want to serve some quick seafood as an appetizer or on the side.  The recipe is very simple and can be prepared in minutes.

In my household, my husband does all the barbecue so he’s the chef today cooking my recipe, the barbeque clams.  One of reasons I enjoy summer is because it’s barbecue season, and that means I do a bit more of the eating and less cooking on weekends! Stay tuned for more delicious Japanese BBQ recipes coming up this month!

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Grilled Clams (Little Neck Clams)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 1
  • 2 giant little neck clams
  • ½ green onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, cut into small cubes
  • Salt for mounting
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • ½ Tbsp. mirin
  1. Scrub the clams thoroughly with a brush in running water.
  2. At least about 2-4 hours before grilling, de-grit clams to purge the sand (Read How To De-Grit Clams).
  3. Start the grill. Meanwhile prepare the rest of ingredients. Chop green onions, cut butter into small cubes, and combine the seasonings in a small bowl.
  4. When grill is hot, place the clams on it. When the clams are fully opened, after about 5 minutes, pour the Seasonings and put green onion and butter on the clams and cook until boiling. Carefully remove them from the grill. Try not to spill their juices.
  5. Serve on top of salt. Enjoy!
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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  1. Congrats on your son finishing kindergarten! And man oh man, I’m in love with these clams! I haven’t tried making clams yet but I’m so ready to tackle this with this awesome recipe. And I had no idea they were grillable! So excited to try this out :)

  2. Namiko-san, Ohh that is so sweet… kindergarten. (I remember those days) My boys are just a BIT older now….
    I have never grilled clams before but this recipe sounds so simple and delicious. Yesterday I was thinking of you and visiting your website for some hinters as I made a full Japanese fun dinner party with make your sushi rolls, soba noodles and vegetable and shrimp tempura, grilled teriyaki chicken and even a cold soba noodle bar. Arigato gozarimashita for being there as a resource! Ja Mata, BAM

  3. I’m a substitute/supply teacher and can hardly wait for the end of the school year especially as the days get warmer and the students get more restless. I need the long break to recover and do some bbqing. :)

  4. I loves shell seafood. What an easy way to make this dish Nami. It must be delicious with full flavour in it. Drooling now just looking at it.

  5. Hi, your recipe was introduced by Mika-san when I mentioned to her that I shared my dishes in face book but only to my friends. :))

    I live in the Philippines, but we are more or less after American education system because we used to be America’s colony, and common wealth of American, too. So yes, summer vacation is like three months long!! Though summer here is around middle of March to middle of June. Yes! Finally the loooong summer will end in few days! My youngest, 7 years old daughter took ballet and gymnastic this summer, because if I don’t enroll in anything, since she doesn’t have any playmates around the house, she’ll be so bored and torture our dog.

    I enjoy your recipes! Thank you so much! We don’t have clams this big, though. It is so envious that your husband can help you BBQing even not all the time.

  6. Darn those are some big clams!! And they are grilled beautifully!

    Have fun with your son this summer holiday. Hope you have some great activities planned.

  7. Clams done on the BBQ? This is wonderful. 10 weeeeeeeks? Golly. I was about to gloat that we only get 6 but just checked: my daughters have 9 weeks from French school. I’m like you, Nami. Being the entertainer is a real job but so much fun and worth it in the end. Sounds like he should take BBQ tutorials from Mum and Dad!

  8. A big congrats to your son for finishing kindergarten! How exciting!! Oh to be young again and enjoy an entire summer of no worries.
    The grilled clams look amazing Nami! So delicious. I love clams and this seems like a perfect way to prepare them.
    I nominated you for an award too (cause you know how much I love your blog!), stop by my blog to see what its all about!
    Have a great week!

  9. It’s wonderful to know that aour kids just finished a school year, but yes, then comes the vacation and we start realizing what to do with the kids as they will be at home all the day. SOmetimes is difficult if your kid is quite active.
    My husband will love this recipe, he likes seafood so much, can wait to share with him this one. Say thanks to your husband…!!!

  10. A 10 week break sounds wonderful! I’m trying your grilled clam recipe this Summer, it looks delicious Nami;-) And, look forward to your Japanese grilling recipes;-)
    I want to cook more seafood and eat lighter over the Summer, thanks for sharing!

  11. I am in the same boat as you…I have a 7 yr old with 10 weeks off too! Today he starts a soccer camp so that’s one week taken care of! It’s hard isn’t it? I am not a seafood fan much, but those clams look divine. I can handle clams. I should make more seafood because my hubby loves it, but you know how it goes. Good luck with entertaining your son!

  12. I would love a 10-week break, too. I just didn’t appreciate it enough as a kid!

    I guess summer’s really here because I’ve been wanting to grill, too. Will have to add clams to the list because these look great. I’ve had grilled oysters but never clams. These would never make it on the plate–I’d devour them straight from the grill. :)

  13. Eri

    I love clams Nami! They remind me of Greece of course..
    I love the idea of serving them on top of salt.
    Back in Greece kids have also 10 – 11 weeks off from school during summer.. I dont know yet what is the procedure here in Canada, I will learn it next year..
    Ha ve a nice week my friend!

  14. I’ve never grilled clams! But I have eaten them – and they’re wonderful. Such a simple recipe – I should give this a try. Really good stuff – I love the idea of serving them on a bed of salt. Thanks for this.

  15. It is always so exciting when the kids get out for summer break but then I’m always thrilled when they go back! It can be tough to keep them occupied when they are young. Mine are teenagers and are working and doing sports over the summer so they will be VERY busy – thankfully! I have always been a little wary of clams but I would try yours Nami. The flavors in the sauce would make them wonderful and I love the idea of grilling them.

  16. donna mikasa

    Your photos always look so yummy! Can’t wait to try the sauce recipe–I’m sure it’s delicious! (My mouth is watering!) Enjoy the summer with your son. Maybe he can help you in the kitchen?

  17. 10 weeks is a long break! Wow!

    Love clams but I never tried grilled ones before. I can dream of the clam “juice” contained in the shell and accentuating the flavors of the clams while grilling. yummy!

  18. Oh, completion of kindergarten, congratulations to your son! Yes, it is a long break, but I am sure you will enjoy :)
    These clams are gorgeous, and I love the presentation! Your husband did a wonderful job cooking up your delightful recipe!

  19. We used to get 10 weeks of summer holidays in Poland too. School finishes around about now and goes back on 1 September. Here in Australia summer holidays run from a week before Christmas till the last week of Jan, about 5 weeks.
    As for the clams they sound delicious, and you are lucky that hubs is happy to cook them for you. Mine would prob cringe a little… Haha!

  20. This looks so delicious Nami. You just made me want to run to the fishmonger and get myself some clams to grill. Never had them grilled before. Just mussels. I can’t wait! My 6-year old is also officially on his summer break until mid-September. It’s a bit longer here, 12 weeks.

  21. My daughter has been off from school since Memorial Day, but this is my son’s last week. It’s going to be a very busy and crazy summer dealing with the two of them. I love the fact your hubby is the grill guy… my husband doesn’t have that ability. We don’t even own an outdoor grill anymore. I wish we did… because these clams look amazing. :)

  22. These look fantastic. I am a big seafood lover. Clams were on sale at the grocery store last week and I didn’t get any. I have been kicking myself ever since but especially after seeing your photos.

  23. Eha

    Would love to be able to reach into the computer screen and have a plateful of these1 Love clams :) ! However, living somewhat inland from proper fish markets, fresh seafood is hard to source. As far as school holidays go, have to echo Martyna exactly [my birth country is Estonia and I too live in Oz and went to school in both countries]. In a far simpler world of yesteryear, parents always took the children to the country for the whole time, mothers staying thru’out and fathers for their holidays + weekend commuting. Kids had a wonderful freedom and came back healthy and brown as berries :) 1

  24. What a wonderful way of preparing clams. These clams looks so succulent and full of flavor.
    It’s funny that although these little neck clams are available year around here and I live not that far away from Little Neck, I actually don’t buy them as often as I do other shell fish. I think it’s time for me to change my menu :) Thanks for sharing!

  25. Bobby was looking over my shoulder when I opened up this post and immediately said “WOW – those look good!” I think I need to go find some clams! :) Since I’ve never made clams I really appreciate the instructions and of course this great recipe!

  26. Kimmi

    Looks amazing!!! I’ve never come across the trick with the salt, but it’s simply genius. =) Another keeper for the summer season — I look forward to your other BBQ recipes!

    And congrats to your adorable son~

  27. Lovely clams! I better make some Korean style soon, IF I find the giant size.
    Your photo is lovely, Nami! My kids started summer break this week and planing to do something fun with them. Have a great time with your young ones! They grow so fast!

  28. Congratulations on your son graduating from kindergarten. Before you know it he’ll be graduating from high school.

    Your clams look great and so easy to prepare. Your picture tutorial is fantastic, covering every detail.

  29. Aah, what fun to have 10 weeks vacation… I actually used to get that from work here… well, 49 days vacation. Then they changed some things so I worked fewer hours and now I just get 5 weeks and a day. Oh well – shouldn’t complain. I know in some countries people have it a lot worse.

    I never cooked clams before… neither fresh nor frozen – it looks like a delicious plate – I love the serving on the salt too… great idea to keep them from rolling around 😀

  30. Wow 10 weeks for summer break? Now I can’t remember how long we had in our American school. Sounds like summer will be a busy one for you too, but at least with BBQ season your hubby can help out in the kitchen more. I love clams but don’t think I’ve ever had them like this. They look delicious!

  31. Australia’s about the same in terms of long breaks, but probably not as long as 10 weeks (maybe about 6 weeks for us?) :P…it’s worse (or better) in university for us though when almost half the year is holidays! 😀

    I’m so jealous of your BBQ season because mine is not going to arrive for quite a few months! But that’s not going to stop me from making this dish. Love the looks of those clams and love your photos! It’s good that your husband cooks as well so you can get a break. :)

  32. Nami your photos are truly appetizing and these look just fantastic. I have never seen them sliced open first always steamed to open. Beautiful recipe.

  33. Congratulations, Nami! Enjoy the moments of these kids growing up because it will feel like it’s just days passing by. They grow up so fast like a blink of an eye. Feels like it’s just yesterday when my daughter having the same graduation in kindergarten and last month had the same daughter graduating from college. Sometimes we wish we could just slow down the time to really enjoy our kids. Enjoy them and hug them everyday, Nami. Now, on the clam – I feel like I want to just grab those clams right out of my monitor. I am drooling just looking at them. :)

  34. Nami-I’m totally impress with the method and style…not to mention the delicious flavor of your grilled clams…sitting so properly on a bed of rock salt. Beautiful presentation, as well. I have not grilled clams, but have grilled squid, by cutting the body in half, and scoring it…so good. I can only imagine how yummy the clams would be grilled!

  35. Oh Nami! These clams look awesome, so simple and so tasty…love the pictures…I am so sad that my husband doe not care for clams…but if I ever get a hold of this clams, he will definitely watch me eat :)
    By the way, congratulations to your son…I still remember when my son was going through this stage…long long time ago 😉
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  36. This is such fun Nami – you take all my traditional foods and then I see they are your traditional foods – and they are so different but so welcome. Love clams and have never had them prepared like this. I used to frankly love when the kids were off – they were not quite as scheduled as during the school year and allowed for a lot of aimless wanderings and daydreaming.

  37. yeah if only we moms got 10 weeks off. wouldn’t that be great! I tell you what is great- this recipe. I am in love with it. the pics are stunning the clams look phenomenal and i love that you grilled them! you are on your game girl

  38. These look great Nami. We can never have seafood due to allergies. But I grew up with clams being a regular thing in our house. My dad was from the east coast so seafood was a big deal here. He would have loved these.

  39. I just the the simplicity of good sea food! I never thought to do clams this way. I do the grilling at my house…my dad taught me at a young age. 😀 I must say I am enjoying my summer off so far…it’s just been one week, but I don’t have to go back to work in the school clinic until Aug 15. …lovin’ it!

  40. I’ve been trying to get to this post for the past few days and thankfully got in today. You know how I am with clams and, boy, that was torture. Well, seeing it and not having it is torture, too. This just looks sooo good, Nami. I think I’ll get a clam tattoo.

  41. My husband and I were shopping last week for stuff to throw on the grill. When we came across some clams, we had a lengthy debate on whether or not they could be grilled. Thanks for settling that for us, these sound great!

  42. Congrats to your little guy!!! I’m itching to get an apartment with enough outdoor space for a grill – i’ll live through your tantalizing photos for now :)

  43. Obviously this recipe is a hit :). We usually have steamed clams here in malaysia due to the weather, hardly have any bbq, except if we do it ourselves in the park. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your time with your son, 10 weeks Is long, my kid just finished two weeks of mid semester break, and boy was I glas school has just started again this week :p

  44. Nami, I can sincerely say that I have never seen clams look this good. Your photography is simply outstanding and your recipe perfect simplicity.

    Congrats to your young man graduating from Kindergarten… that’s a huge mommy milestone! Ah yes, endless summer vacation… I remember… ;-).

  45. how good is that 10 weeks man! I wish I am a child again .. no wait, i take that back! I prefer to be an adult, savouring all these food and cooking it. This looks amazing- your family is so blessed to have u!

  46. Congrats on Enzo’s promotion on to next grade! He must be happy to be first grader next year! i am not fan of clams..well I never dare to dry them, but yours look very good! My boys are crazy about i know they would love this. I love anything from the grill so i will look forward to your yummy recipes this month!

  47. Ira Rodrigues

    oh yum, i love straight forward recipe, it makes life easier :) absolutely drooling over your photos. perfect lip-smacking close up food photo. Btw, congrats on your son graduating from kindergarten, I bet your kitchen would be hectic on the summer :)

  48. Those clams are stunning–beautifully presented. Congratulations on your son’s kindergarten graduation and I hope you get to spend some good time with him this summer. I also envy those who get an entire summer off!

  49. I totally wish I had this recipe last summer when we were in Maine. It would have been fabulous with the fresh clams. I’m going to have to look into seeing what kind of clams I can get locally because this would be a big hit with the whole family. (And I’m with you – love the grill meals since I don’t have to cook!) :)

    • Fern, these are much bigger. Maybe like 2-3 times bigger! You see my husband’s hand when he’s washing the clam? See, pretty giant! 😀

  50. What a great way to savour the clams! I usually always stir-fry clams and never grill them (stir-frying is the only method I know to cook clams, that’s why ;)). Thanks for showing me another way, the clams look totally delicious and juicy :).

  51. Dear Nami,

    I see these clams so often whenever I go to the fish markets here and have never cooked them before. I really ought to try this recipe seeing how simple it is with so few ingredients.

  52. WOW 10 weeks off :) I’m SUPER jealous! WOW but then and again that’s pretty AMAZING :) You get to spend so much time with him hehe maybe you can teach him how to cook or ask him to help you out ~

    LOL i’ll never be able to cook clams lol I wouldn’t know how to get rid of the sand but these look so YUMMY ~

  53. I am excited to enjoy your BBQ recipes, we love grilling!!! I had clams for the first time last weekend, they were steamed. I really enjoyed them, and look forward to trying your recipe:-) Hugs, Terra

  54. I’m with you, I wish I could get 1o weeks off too! My husband loves clams. I usually steam them with wine and herbs, but I think I’ll treat him to your grilled version. He’ll be in heaven.