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Savoury clams also called varnish clams, were unintentionally introduced to the Strait of Georgia, BC, in the late 1980's or early 1990's. Originally from Japan, these attractive clams are now widely distributed throughout the BC coast, both farmed and wild.
Savoury clam dishes are visually striking as well as succulent. The shiny brown shell is pale purple inside, and the meat is sweet, earthy, and exceptionally tender. They are sweeter than manila clams and have a softer texture.
The most common way to cook clams is to steam them. They can also be cooked in soup, baked, or stir-fried. Clams can be cooked together with mussels. You will find that they cook faster than manila clams because their shells are thinner. If you are cooking the two types together, add the savoury clams to the pot about 2 minutes after the manilas.
For a main dish of steamed clams, allow 1 to 1 ½ lbs per person. With pasta or rice, 1 lb is enough. For a side dish or starter, allow ½ lb per person.