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Geoduck Clam


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#1 cabrales

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 10:41 AM

Along certain portions of the west coast of Canada, geoduck clams are available in relative abundance (and at relatively inexpensive prices). Here's a description:

http://www.ecy.wa.go...es/geoduck.html

Geoduck is frequently on the menus of Japanese restaurants -- sliced and served as sashimi -- or Chinese restaurants.  In the latter restaurants, one preparation is to thinly slice the geoduck, and allow the diner to immerse it very briefly in bouillon.  A soy sauce or wasabe-based dip would typically be furnished.

(See also Steve Klc's September 2 post under "New York -- Citarella's Restaurant".)



#2 Fat Guy

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 11:51 AM

There are few foods I don't like, but geoduck is one of them. I just don't get it.

#3 cabrales

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 01:05 PM

Geoduck is larger than most other clams, thereby permitting a range of textures within a single specimen.  Part of the yummy aspects of it are that parts of the geoduck are inside its shell, and others are sometimes rougher along the skin exposed to the seawater and other times softer in the inside.

The taste of fresh geoduck appeals to me, although it is difficult for me to describe why.  Sometimes, the geoduck taste is enhanced at Chinese restaurants by using other geoduck as the base for the bouillon in which the actually sampled slices are cooked.


#4 cabrales

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 01:43 PM

After having completed the previous post, I looked up geoduck in Craig Claiborne's Food Encyclopedia (1985).  Here are excerpts:

'The clams can be seven inches across the shell and have a siphon six times that long [rarely].  . . .  Oddly, I have never sampled a geoduck, which came as a surprise to many correspondents. . . .

Joseph Alsop, the columnist, said that in his opinion, geoduck "cutlets are far superior to abalone [I would not go that far], and you ought to go out of your way to try them.  The reason [geoducks] are all but unknown in the United States, although one of the real American delicacies (?), is that these clams, despite their enormous size, are capable of propelling themselves under the sand at close to the speed of light.  They make quite conspicuous breathing holes, but locating a breathing hole is only the beginning of the battle.  You have to have the knack of foretelling which way [the geoduck] will go, and the strength to dig down for them with utmost rapidity. Otherwise they escape.'"



#5 Jim Dixon

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Posted 08 March 2002 - 05:16 PM

You can find geoduck all through Puget Sound, too. I ate some great fried cutlets at a roadside tavern south of Quilcene (on the Olympic Peninsula near Hood Canal).

The one time I tried to catch one I ended up laying on my belly in the low-tide muck with my arm buried up to the shoulder as I tried to hang on. The geoduck got away.

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#6 Blue Heron

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Posted 08 March 2002 - 09:49 PM

I've never had geoduck in a raw or stir fry presentation, but have had them numerous times as pan fried cutlets or pan fried geoduck strips, so to speak.  This is a true delicacy!  They are pounded, cut, breaded and then pan fried in oil/butter.  (somewhat similar to pan fried razor clams only sweeter, I think, more like how I used to remember abalone tasted, although it's been years since I had abalone).   Our family is fortunate to share a beach with Taylor Shellfish Farms (they are the largest producer of clams on the west coast)   See article:  Farming the Tidelands near Shelton, WA, and we have sometimes been the recipient of the generosity of the shellfish growers when they are harvesting.  They are growing geoducks by the thousands in several little inlets in Puget Sound, including the one where our beach house is located.  Up until about 4-5 years ago they grew oysters on our beach, but have switched to a more profitable business of Geoduck's.  (note: they still grow oysters on the other beaches, as well as mussels, manila clams, scallops & crabs, but our particular beach just has the geoducks, and a few wayward oysters also remain).

We have also had the experience of digging a natural growing geoduck one time.  It was buried in a mix of sand/clay.  It was really hard work digging that one up, and then when we fried him up, he tasted of the clay he had been buried in all those years.  That's not an experience we will repeat!  The farmed ones taste MUCH better!

#7 ckbklady

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Posted 09 March 2002 - 11:54 AM

I am glad to see that someone else loves the poor geoduck. Blue Heron, I am with you. It is marvelous. I sampled it first out of morbid curiosity and sampled it again and again out of gluttonous joy.  The best I've had is at the Sea Garden in Bellevue, WA. It was costly ($60+) but was absolutely worth it. At the time, Sea Garden would not serve single portions, but allowed diners to select a living critter from a tank then took it in the back and (euphemism, euphemism) "made" it into delicious cutlets and served it all on a gargantuan platter. It amply served 6 to 8 people. I partook several times and never had any trouble convincing large numbers of friends to join me for lunch.  

By the way, leftovers, if flung into a fridge straight away, hold up until dinner but become stiff as beer coasters by the next day.  Get 'em while they're hot, I guess.

Blue Heron, I envy you your place in Shelton. Heaven on earth!

Cookbook Lady

#8 cabrales

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Posted 13 March 2002 - 12:12 PM

I am glad to see that someone else loves the poor geoduck. Blue Heron, I am with you. It is marvelous. I sampled it first out of morbid curiosity and sampled it again and again out of gluttonous joy.  The best I've had is at the Sea Garden in Bellevue, WA.


Geoduck is wonderful, and, interestingly enough despite my non-existent cooking skills, is one of the things I have dreamed about preparing for myself.  One could just slice them and dip them in boiling bouillon as earlier described, or highlight them in a simple stir-fry with garlic and butter.  I have never tried to catch one, though. How fast do they get when motivated to escape? Are they smart enough to try and escape?  :wink:

#9 Liza

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Posted 13 March 2002 - 05:58 PM

And the best part is: it's pronounced "gooey-duck". Anything with gooey in the title has got to be good.

#10 cabrales

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Posted 15 March 2002 - 10:41 AM

Geoduck is on the sample menu on Le Bernardin's web site (an appetizer of "Thinly Sliced Geoduck Clam Simply Marinated with Wasabi-Lime Dressing").

Have members sampled geoduck at Le Bernardin or Citarella?
:wink:

#11 cabrales

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 08:22 PM

I'd appreciate input from members who recollect how geoduck has been used by Canadian, non-Chinese and non-Japanese restaurants.   :wink:

I wonder whether the preparation methods for geoduck have been inspired by those for other shellfish, and, if so, which ones. For me, geoduck is more texturally differentiated within a single specimen than scallop (including more elastic in some portions). Perhaps recipes in French cuisine for bigorneaux or hormeaux might be an appropriate point of departure?  :wink:

#12 cabrales

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 01:56 PM

Some official information on geoduck. :laugh:

http://atn-riae.agr....d/geoduck-e.htm
("Growth-ring analysis of shells shows many individuals live for more than 100 years.")

Particularly interesting is the website's information on preparing geoduck:

http://www.geoduck.o...ecipesMAIN.html

Edited by cabrales, 22 January 2003 - 02:00 PM.


#13 Schielke

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 03:06 PM

geoducks make up the number 1 animal in terms of sheer bio-mass here in the puget sound area.

There are a ton of geoducks.

You may also have seen it refered to as Giant Clam in a sushi place.

Ben
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#14 col klink

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 04:23 PM

Whatever it's called, it's really freakin' ugly. I'll eat it, but I won't eat it whole!

#15 cabrales

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 04:26 PM

col klink -- Not whole. One culinary goal I might pursue is to keep the geoduck **ive while I "help myself" to portions of it. :laugh: It think this is an ideal type of shellfish for that type of sampling. :laugh:

Edited by cabrales, 22 January 2003 - 04:37 PM.


#16 La Niña

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 04:42 PM

col klink -- Not whole. One culinary goal I might pursue is to keep the geoduck **ive while I "help myself" to portions of it.  :laugh: It think this is an ideal type of shellfish for that type of sampling. :laugh:

Cabby, may I respectfully request to be present when this takes place? :wink: :biggrin:

#17 cabrales

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 09:12 PM

Nina -- Of course; as you know, I need help. With your culinary skills, we could perhaps prepare the "extracted" items in several ways (including sauteed in butter -- as well as sashimi -- :laugh:). :laugh:

Edited by cabrales, 22 January 2003 - 09:13 PM.


#18 Jaymes

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 09:27 PM

One culinary goal I might pursue is to keep the geoduck **ive while I "help myself" to portions of it.  :laugh: It think this is an ideal type of shellfish for that type of sampling. :laugh:

Actually, I think I saw a movie like this once... long ago... :unsure: :blink:

What was that darn thing called....??? Deep something...???

Edited by Jaymes, 22 January 2003 - 09:27 PM.

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#19 Jinmyo

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 05:19 AM

cabrales... :rolleyes:
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#20 Huevos del Toro

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 07:12 AM

You can find geoduck all through Puget Sound, too. I ate some great fried cutlets at a roadside tavern south of Quilcene (on the Olympic Peninsula near Hood Canal).

The one time I tried to catch one I ended up laying on my belly in the low-tide muck with my arm buried up to the shoulder as I tried to hang on. The geoduck got away.

Jim

My grandmother taught me to clam at Copalis Beach, back in the early 50's. She was a commercial clammer in the 30's. The secret is to be very stealthy. They can feel the slightest vibration. Find a "spout" in the sand, tip-toe around it until you're between the siphon hole and the ocean, your back to the water. Very gently put the clam shovel a few inches behind the hole, make a mighty push into the sand, throw the shovel load out of the way, take maybe one or two more quick shovelfulls, then hit the deck and find the neck with your fingers. You gotta dig FAST because they DO run like lightening, angling TOWARD the water. Then it's a tug-o-war. Whoever holds out the longest wins. I remember being buried up to my arm pit, the neck clamped in my fingers. I'd pull, he'd pull, I'd pull, he'd pull. Not too many got away because I was just plain stubborn.

That said, these were all razor clams, not geoducks. I've eaten tons of freshly caught razor clams but never a geoduck. And I've never understood how geoduck could be pronounced gooeyduck, but it is. There were also mussels all over the place but nobody even thought of eating them. They were treated just like barnacles. Oh, what a waste!

Thanks for the great memories!
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Bob Bowen
aka Huevos del Toro

#21 La Niña

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 08:21 AM

Nina -- Of course; as you know, I need help.  With your culinary skills, we could perhaps prepare the "extracted" items in several ways (including sauteed in butter -- as well as sashimi -- :laugh:).  :laugh:

You're on, baby.

#22 chantrelle

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 12:07 PM

wait, this is what i ate at the Sooke Harbour House, thinly sliced so i thought it was cucumber!
I recalled it being "guidoc" but a quick google search tells me that doesn't exist....i need to update my review w/ a correct spelling...i also thought it was a sea cucumber like thing, not a clam....
ya, i didn't really like it. It wasn't awful but not good either.

#23 tighe

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 12:56 PM

Goeduck neck sliced into rings and deep-fried....you'll never go back to calamari!

Disclosure: I've only had this once in my life and I do still eat calamari......
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#24 Kenk

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:08 AM

Hello all,

The last time I visited Vancouver the one thing I wanted to bring back was a live whole geoduck. So on the way to the airport I stoped at Granville Island to buy a couple of geoducks.
I prepared them by lightly steaming the whole thing. I separated the spout from the body. I sliced the spout and sauted it lightly in garlic butter. I took the body and sauted it also with a little garlic and butted and served it over pasta.
The spout was tasty and chewy.
The pasta and geoduck body was wonderfully creamy with a great smooth clam taste. Any one that likes clams should like geoduck prepared this way.

It seems to me most people here have eaten goeducks in restaurants where they serve the spout and ignore the body.

#25 cabrales

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:12 AM

Kenk -- I agree, with respect to the need to utilize different parts of the geoduck, particularly for textural differentation.

Did you purchase carry live geoducks from Granville Island onto the plane? If so, what sort of carrying case was provided and did you encounter any customs problems with that? Do you remember which stall at GI provided the specimens?

How did you terminate the geoduck?

Edited by cabrales, 24 January 2003 - 09:13 AM.


#26 Kenk

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 11:20 AM

Cabrales I think I got them from;
http://www.lobsterman.com/

They where live. I didn't use anything special to carry them just a couple of plastic bags, with my carry on luggage. I did ask the store how they reccomend carrying them.
Granville Island is a very short distance from the airport, on the way from almost anywhere you are coming from in Vancouver.
I was flying from Vancouver to Montreal, no customs, when the delays were minimal. I went straight to the airport and from the airport home. The travel time was about the same as a normal day going to the market.
The geoducks were then placed straight into a pot, LIVE, like any clam, added a dash of water and white wine, just enough to ensure the geoducks would not scorch, cooked untill open. I didn't want to cook them too much because they were going to be sauted after that.