Cleaning Razor Clams

I have been

Cleaning Razor Clams

for fifty years and it is sad to see how much miss information is out on the web, especially YouTube videos. With that said, cleaning razor clams is easy as long as you have photos, or a video as a guide. Reading how to do this is lengthy (gives me a headache), so here you will see photos and a video.

I admit there are a number of different ways to approach cleaning razor clams; however, there is only one end-product goal! Cleaned Razor Clams must be:

  • In one piece, the digger and/or neck are not separated.
  • The windows (side membrane when the clam is cut to lay flat) are intact, and have no holes.
  • The gills and palps are removed (some cultures like to leave them, but they should be removed).
  • Most all have a “crystalline style” in them. This clear thin rod about an inch long helps digestion, it is edible, but it is removed.
  • The intestine that runs through the digger is removed, but the foot membrane is the best part of the clam, do not wash out this membrane.
Finally, some people use a sharp knife, I prefer scissors with very thin blades to easily slip into the razor syphon holes. You can store your clams in the fridge for up to five days, and they freeze really well for up to a year.

Cleaning Razor Clams Video – Like Professional Restaurants



Cleaning Razor Clams – A Step By Step Photo Filmstrip



During certain times of the year, marine toxins, produced by some species of diatoms (algae) are taken in by razor clams. When ingested, these toxins can cause illness and in very high concentrations can be fatal to humans, for that reason clamming during red tides is not allowed. The Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Health (DOH) sample clams on a routine basis. If high toxin levels are detected, clam seasons are delayed or closed. ODFW and DOH work very hard to provide a safe and fun resource to enjoy for all clammers. Contact ODFW to check on safety relating to red tides.
Quick De-Shelling Tip