Razor clams

Many marine bivalve molluscs look similar to one another, but razor clams (also called razor shells and spoots) are pretty unmistakeable, delicious and easy to cook.


  • 500g Razor clams
  • 1 fennel, finely sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried chipotle flakes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 200ml white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley


Razor clams must be alive when cooked, so ideally buy and cook them on the same day but really, provided they are fresh, they should be fine in the fridge for a day or 2
To check they are still alive and safe to eat, give them a tap and watch for movement
They may be dozy and sluggish if they’ve been chilled – so any that don’t react should be given a minute or two to wake up, then tapped again
If they still don’t react, assume they are dead and discard
Rinse them thoroughly in cold water to wash away any grit or sand
Fry the fennel first until soft, with a little oil and a pinch of salt, add garlic for 1 minute and pour in the wine
As soon as it begins to boil, add the clams and put the lid on
Give them about 4-5 minutes, until they open again, steaming them in all those wonderful flavours that are inside the pan
Give the pan a good shake, just in case anything has managed to stay hidden from the steam and heat
Any clams that remain closed should be discarded
Lift the lid and add the parsley and serve