Japanese sake Steamed Clams あさりの酒蒸し

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Japanese Clams (Sake Steamed Clams) Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Our kids had last Friday off from school due to Veteran’s Day so my husband took the day off from work and we went to Monterey for the weekend.  It started off with pretty heavy rain but we had a great time in the aquarium and we also dined at 2 restaurants in Santa Cruz and Pacific Grove.  My husband will be writing the Restaurant Reviews soon on our dining experience.

Japanese Clams II
I have a good news to share today.  If you are a food blogger you might already have heard of the Fairy Hobmother.  The Fairy Hobmother is from Appliance Online, an online store that sells cool Chimney Cooker Hoods and other appliances.  She brings joy and happiness to the world’s bloggers by providing treats for great, hard work in the blogosphere.  And guess what, the Fairy Hobmother stumbled across my comment on Sandra‘s Sweet Sensation‘s post and she decided to give me a $100 Amazon Gift Card!  I nearly got a heart attack when I saw the email from her!

The Fairy Hobmother told me that if you (bloggers) leave a comment on this post and make a wish for her to visit your blog, she might read your comments and surprise you with treats, just like what she did for me!  So if you are a blogger, make sure to leave a comment because you never know what surprises are waiting for you.

Today I want to share a very easy Japanese appetizer that is popular in Japan and Japanese tapas-style restaurants in the US.  If you are familiar with Japanese cuisine, you probably know that we don’t typically use chili peppers as an ingredient in our traditional cooking.  However this dish does require a bit of chili pepper and you are free to adjust the amount based on your preference, but please remember that Japanese foods use spices and condiments to enhance the natural flavor, not to overpower them. There are many other ways to make Sake Steamed Clams such as adding butter, but I tried to keep this recipe as traditional as possible.

This is a wonderful appetizer for a party especially because you can start preparing it after the guests arrive. Just make sure to de-grit the clams beforehand (or buy de-gritted ones).  Enjoy sake steamed clams in the summer with cold sake or cocktail!  Have a great week ahead!

Japanese Clams III

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Japanese Clams (Sake Steamed Clams)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • ¾ cup sake
  • 1 Tbsp. julienned ginger
  • 1.5 lbs de-grited Manila Clams/Littleneck Clams (See How To De-Grit Clams)
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chopped green onion
  1. In a large frying pan, add the sake and ginger and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the clams and a red chili pepper. Place the lid and steam on high heat for a few minutes until all the clams open.
  3. Remove the lid and add freshly ground black pepper and green onion. Shake the pan to make sure the clams are not over-lapping each other.
  4. Serve with the soup and eat while warm.
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. I love this dish as I made it quite often at home too. :) You’re so cute with your reaction on the Fairy Hopmother’s visit. I don’t mind that kind of heart attack, obviously! hahaha….take care and have a good day. BTW, have fun shopping on Amazon. hm…I can really use an Amazon gift card myself too.

  2. I seldom cook clams, but these look so simple and delicious! I really should shop for clams one of these days. Happy to hear that you got an early xmas pressie from the Fairy Hobmother! I promise to be good and hopefully she’ll pay me a visit too! :)

  3. been a while since i cooked clams! i love de-gritting them…haha fun! 😉
    one of my fav soups ever is a simple clam soup with lots of ginger…your steamed clams dish reminds me of it!

  4. Sandra

    So happy the Fairy Hobmother paid you a visit and Happy Shopping! The ginger and sake are a good combo and I’m looking forward to the restaurant reviews.

  5. Congrats on receiving a pressie from the fairy hobmother!! i certainly hope that she’ll pay me a visit to!! :) have an awesome week ahead!

  6. It sounds like your weekend was fantastic! I had a pretty good one, too. I’ve never actually tried clams before, but the next time I get the chance, I’m going to go for it, and yours look especially good… Congratulations on your gift!

  7. That sounds like a fun weekend!!! :-)))
    Ohhh the Fairy Hobmother!!! I’ve always wanted to “see” a fairy!!! 😉 Lucky girl! I am very happy for you!
    I love clams… and almost never find them here… this recipe is not that different to the Italian way of cooking clams/vongole… we use white wine instead of sake and garlic and parsley instead of ginger and green onion… but the method is the same! YUM!

  8. Great information Nami, as always. I loved the details on cleaning the clams. Cooking the clams are easy. The laborious part is cleaning them properly.

    Thank you for sharing and congrats for winning a $100 gift card from The Fairy Hobmother for use at Amazon. I hope she has the time to stop by my blog to pay me a visit. Spend it wisely! Happy Monday!

    • Hi Shannon, I shake pan so that clams don’t overlap each other…if they are overlapping, it’s possible that clams haven’t open up yet. So you shake and make sure clams are all open. :-)

  9. My absolute favourite shellfish! I like it best in soup. It is quite rare and expensive here so we really had fun eating lots of them in Vegas. You are so lucky, Nami. I want to make these photos my screensaver.

  10. Nami, it must be the “clams in sake” season for all the Japanese cooks! I saw this dish only a couple of days ago at Hiroyuki’s blog and thought I had to try it. Now, seeing your lovely photos and a similar recipe I have decided my next mussels or clams if I find them will be cooked in sake. The chili pepper addition sounds like an excellent idea. In short, your clams look perfect!
    Congratulations for the Fairy Hobmother visit and the gift you have received! I hope you will have fun shopping on Amazon! I would of course be more than happy to have a visit from the Fairy Hobmother on my blog :-)

  11. Congratulations on receiving a present from Fairy Hobmother, well deserved. I have made clam soup before but the western style using white wine:D Got to try using sake the next time.

  12. My family loves clams and I just steamed clams last week with fresh chilli and garlic. Must try your version soon as it looks so delicious.
    Congrats for the gift you received from Fairy Hobmother. You’re so lucky!

  13. Nami, I can not believe how easy steamed clams is!!!!! For some reason I am always a bit frightened when it comes to clams and squids, felt like they would be difficult to cook, plus it’s not easy to get my hands on fresh clams, do you think frozen ones would work as well?

    Congrats on the gift from Fairy Hobmother, how fun is it to receive an unexpected gift?! What do you plan on buying from Amazon.com? There are just too many choices! Happy shopping!

    • I have never cooked frozen clams before, but as long as they are fresh (not cooked) it should work I think… Let me know if you try. I’m curious myself. :-) I’ve been asked from some readers here about what to buy… I think I’ll save up for a new camera or lens… :-)

  14. I think I enjoy clams prepared virtually any way but I enjoy them most in simple dishes like this one.

    I love going to Monterey/Carmel, rain or shine. Glad you and the fam were able to enjoy a nice getaway. I’m curious to know which restaurant in Pacific Grove you’ll be reviewing–I have a favorite there. Guess I’ll have to wait for the review! :)

    Have a great week, Nami!

  15. Wow, you’re so lucky…:)!! I also want a visit from the Fairy Hobmother, so do come and visit my blog and give me a voucher Fairy Hobmother…;)!

    This is another simple yet elegant dish from you, Nami. I don’t eat clams very often, but when I do I usually eat pipi with XO sauce, which I think is a popular Cantonese dish. I will definitely try this recipe when I have some clams available. Love the sound of clams with sake!

  16. Congratulation on your gift from Fairy Hob mother!!!!
    These clams look so good….
    Nami the pictures are awesome, I simply love the color coordination, beautiful…
    Enjoy your gift card and have a blast…..

  17. These clams look delectable Nami! Love the Japanese rendition of the recipe and will be sure to try it one day soon. PS Glad to hear you had a lovely weekend with the family, and of course that you have some spending money thanks to the Fairy Hobmother! I know what I’d be getting… Enjoy!

  18. Congrats on the visit from the fairy! I got a visit the other month–so exciting. I bought my new cutting board with the Amazon card…I can’t wait to use it. These clams look lovely, Nami. Gorgeous photos, as always! x

  19. This recipe looks delicious, Nami! You must of had an amazing time with your family =]
    I have never heard of the Fairy Hobmother, but will be so thankful if she comes by my blog and leaves me a special treat! =] This is why I love blogging… xoxo

  20. こんばんわ!


  21. Clams is one of my favourite seafood; whether in hot & spicy stir fry or steamed! I know for sure, the way you cooked it, it sure does taste absolutely delicious!

  22. Steamed clams are a staple favorite in my family, and my hubby is a big fan of it! Over here, we get the steamed clams with Chinese white wine, but I am intrigued by your sake version!:)
    I am pretty sure it is just as enticing; if not better, and as usual, your photos just take my breath away!
    Oh, congratulations on the win; you are such a lovely person, it is no wonder that the Fairy Hobmother takes a liking in you too 😀

  23. OMG that is awesome that the Fairy Hobmother visited you! I want her to visit me too. Nami these clams look awesome! Steamed clams are my total weakness, I love them in all different preparations. This looks so oiishi!

  24. First off – the clams are stunning! Secondly – congratulations on the visit from the Fairy Hobmother! I keep seeing her around the bloggy world…it’s time to visit Cooking Healthy For Me!

  25. Wow…congrats on the Fairy Hobmother visit, Nami!!! I got lucky to be visited by her months ago but not lucky enough to get as much as you did! I guess I deserve another visit hah! LOL.
    Your Sake Steamed Clams sounds yummy. I love clams but I haven’t cooked them with sake. Would love to try this soon!

  26. Gorgeous clam dish! You always make everything look so easy Nami. My kids love seafood, so I may give this a try. We just went to Monterey about a month ago and visited the aquarium too. Looking forward to hearing about where you dined!

    Oh, and I make a wish upon a star…..that the Fairy Hobmother will visit me before I wake. :)

  27. I think this is the first recipe I have ever seen with julienned ginger… was there a reason behind this? I love the simple flavours that are locked in this recipe. Great work Nami!

    • Hi Jeff! Really? We julienne ginger a lot for our cooking – either julienned or grated or sliced. The reason behind julienned ginger. Hmm… actually I’m not sure. Depending on the dish I change how ginger is cut. Julienned works for stir fry kind of dish so that julienned ginger is scattered around, while grated ginger for soup or sauce and sliced ginger is for stew/soup…. but tha’s how I do it though. :-)

  28. Whenever i see fresh claims in the wet market, i’m sure grap some. My Chinese way is almost the same ingredients, but we use Chinese cooking wine or Tiew Heng wine. Normally we steam it over boiling water..Love your Japanese way too, as I don’t need to prepare the steaming tray ^^, just cook straight from the frying pan, i must try this way soon. Thanks Nami!

  29. Hobmother? O.o honestly never heard about. congrats to your price! even if I win I wouldnt be able to use a amazon gift card. lol

    anyways…. Your clams look awesome, but unluckily I am not into clams and mussels and all other shells. simply not my thing. But I do like the way u cook them in sake, am a total sake fan ( Iam not an alkoholic), but again thats difficult if not impossibel to get here.

    My husband though, would enjoy this dish. I d serve ti maybe with some rice. any other idea with what I could serve them?

  30. These clams are gorgeous!! I love clams but they’re not common in Israel (partially because they are not kosher). So for now I will just have to drool over yours! I’d of course love a visit from the fairy hobmother!

  31. Another stunning dish, Nami! And totally DELISH! It must be like eating at a restaurant dining at your house… And congrats on a visit from the Fairy Hobmother…her prize package has increased since her visit to my blog…LUCKY you!!!! Have a wonderful day, my friend. xoxo

  32. I love clams and I love sake…This should be great! Congrats on your gift certificate win :) I’d love a visit from the Fairy Hobmother! Maybe I’d buy a Staub Round Cocotte.

  33. Hi Nami-I love the steamed clams with the Sake…a genius idea! I always make it Italian style, with the white wine, garlic, and dried chili peppers, sprinkle with Italian parsley.
    Love the Japanese version of one of the yummy clams. Can’t wait to see your restaurant review. It’s so nice that you and family got to take some time off for the weekend.
    It was such a pleasure to meet up with you, in SF. Loved every minute of our time together!
    Congratulations on the fab. winning from the fairy hobmother! Such a generous gift to chose from Amazon. I wish she could come my way…she really gets around:DDD

  34. Eri

    Hello Nami, I’m glad you had a nice time with your family this weekend.
    Your clams looks amazing, I love them! I can eat a large pot of clams and then lay down feverish :)
    Congratulations on your gift from the Fairy hobmother!
    Have a great day!

  35. Lucky you – getting a gift from the fairy! I want a visit too!!

    Also, these clams look delicious. Can I tell you something? I’ve never tried clams in my life! The closest I got to shelled seafood was mussels. I’m not so adventurous when it comes to seafood, but your recipe looks very tempting..

  36. What an easy and simple recipe! I love that and I ‘m sure it tastes fab.
    My mother would often steam the clams for us to eat. We used to get a big bowl and just chomp away.

  37. Oh! These clams look great…I never had it with sake…so easy and simple to make! The pictures are awesome as always.
    And yes, I would love a visit from the fairy Hobmother…
    Hope you are having wonderful week Nami and congratulations on the gift card :-)

  38. This reminds me of a very cute and funny book I read today to my students called Singing Shijimi Clams by Naomi Kojima. It is hilarious because the pictures are reminding me of the story where the clams are sleeping comfortably and snoring away until they realize they are going to be cooked in miso soup but then with their cute singing the witch has a change of heart who decides to return them to their home! Back to your recipe … it is looking so deliciously although I have never eaten clams before. Oh and I would love a visit from the fairy!!

  39. The hubby and I are both huge fans of steamed clams. I’ve never made them, but since you make it look so easy, I’m wondering why I’ve never made them. Well, this looks like a great recipe to start with! Ginger and sake – YUM! Congratulations on the gift from the Fairy Hobmother!! I hope she drops by my blog someday. :) I wonder what you’ll being buying at Amazon. :)

  40. Geez who is this fairy hobmother you speak of? Apparently I need to get my head out of the oven more often. Congrats on the gift card. That’s fabulous! I grew up eating quite alot of seafood. Now we never eat it as mini-me is deathly allergic to it. But I get seriously nostalgic for it when I see it. My father was from the east coast so it was a staple growing up. Hope you are having a lovely week Nami!

  41. Beautiful post Nami – I don’t think clams are so common where I am – although maybe I’m just not looking in the right place. There’s a restaurant nearby which serves a few of them as part of a seafood platter, but not in such abundance as your post. I often use the de-gritting method on mussels as well – nothing is more annoying than crunching down on a big piece of sand or grit!

    Congratulations on your visit from the Fairy Hobmother (lol, I just love that name!) – Oh Fairy Hobmother, I would so love for you to visit me too. I would wish for magical clam-locating powers (sort of like ClamGPS!) in this barren, butter-rich country of anti-clamdom!

  42. Wow these do look delicious. If I were goingto eat clams I would want them this way. Is the broth edible looks like you could dip bread inthere.
    Yes Fairy Hobmother, please come visit me.

  43. Congratulations for being selected by the Fairy Hobmother! So happy for you. I like how this clams recipe is so simple and quick. The Chinese have a similar version as well, adding fermented black beans. The Japanese and Chinese do cook very similar in some ways. Have a nice day!

  44. Congratulations for being selected by the Fairy Hobmother! What a nice surprise visit! I like how this clams recipe is so simple and quick. The Chinese have a similar version as well, adding fermented black beans. The Japanese and Chinese do cook very similar in some ways. Have a nice day!

  45. Nami!!
    This is a simple and delish dish indeed!
    I been thinking to make a dish like dish and here u are… tq fr sharing nami, will get the clam fr the nearest supermarket when I got back fr church :)
    Love This!;)

  46. Congrats on the fairy’s visit and the gift card! You’re so lucky, Nami! 😀
    I love my clams just this way, especially when I managed to get very fresh ones. 😉
    Haven’t try with the sake tho and I will the next time! 😉

  47. Hi Nami! Thanks for buzzing me over at my blog. I really miss our meet up. Can you believe it it’s now 1 week later that I’ve been back in my own country? You are so kind with your compliments and I really appreciate them to bits. Do you know I always enjoy your photos? They look like the front page of a magazine cover. So much better than what I can do am sure. Now to the clams.. this is such a classic way of cooking clams. A real comforting dish and the broth is especially fragrance and naturally sweet from all the sake and ginger. Yummmm… Hugggsss, Jo

  48. Lucas

    Working with clams scares me, much like mussels. I just never know if I’m doing the right thing!

    And yes, I’d like a visit from the Fairy Hobmother please oh please.

  49. Devie

    Hi Nami.. I tried to cook clam for the first time (by looking at your recipe as well as how to de grit and de salt the clams).. You’re awesome!!!!!! This recipe is sooooooo delicious.. I used fruity white wine instead of sake (as i dont have one) and add more chillies to the recipe.. Thanks for sharing the recipe Nami! :)

    • Hi Devie! Yay! I’m so glad you liked it. If you enjoy eating clams, try Clam Pasta! That’s our quick and easy week night meal (of course we still need to degrit though…). Thank you so much for trying the recipe. So happy you liked it! p.s. If you used white wine, you can drop 1 tbsp. butter at the end, which adds extra flavor… really delicious! :)