Recipes for Shellfish, Squid, Octopi and Crustaceans

A plate of cooked crabs
Photo by Hank Shaw

I am using this category as a catch-all for everything shellfish: Crabs, clams, squid, mussels, etc. even though squid and octopus are not technically shellfish. Most of the recipes are for the shellfish and crustaceans I catch, but a few are for store-bought seafood.

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How to purge clams

How to Purge Sand from Clams

Here’s how to get all the sand out of clams you dig yourself.

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Gaper clams in a bowl

How to Clean a Gaper or Horse Clam

This is how you clean the big gaper clams of the Pacific Coast, the horsenecks, butter clams and geoducks.

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Shellfish: Clams, Mussels, Scallops, etc.

Clams are my first real food love. I’ve been digging them since I was a toddler, and I still love it, more than four decades later. Here’s a fantastic video a colleague shot of a clam digging trip we took in Northern California.

A bowl of Maine clam chowder.

Clam Chowder, Mom, and Memories

This is my mum’s recipe for clam chowder, and even though she grew up in Massachusetts, her mother came from Maine. This is a Downeaster recipe heavy on clams, light on cream.

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pasta clam sauce recipe

Linguini with White Clam Sauce

An Italian-American tradition, this is the linguini with clam sauce we all know and love, only I prefer it with thin vermicelli or even angel hair. No matter the pasta, this is a damn good sauce.

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Fried clams in appetizer bowls with forks and lemon.

New England Style Fried Clams

I love fried clams. A lot. Here’s a traditional recipe for fried clams from New England, where they take them very seriously.

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clam cakes recipe

Clam Cakes Block Island

Think of these as a savory clam beignet or donnut hole. They are made of awesome.

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A bowl of clams and chorizo.

Spanish Clams and Chorizo

A Spanish standard, the combination of pork and clams is divine. You’ll need dry Spanish chorizo for this recipe.

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mussel soup recipe

Mussel Soup with Tomatoes

A classic Italian dish to be eaten over pasta, or with lots of crusty bread.

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Clam ceviche served in the shell on a bed of green sea glass.

Clam Ceviche

Clam ceviche is common in Baja California, where you will often see it marinating in a mix of tomato and lime juice. It’s different, but great!

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A bowl of Sardinian soup with mussels and clams

Sardinian Mussel Soup

My take on the Sardinian soup fregula kin arsella, which is normally done with clams. Here I use both clams and mussels, which bathe in seawater with lots of fregula pasta.

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Smoked mussels made at home

Smoked Mussels

Possibly the best thing you can do to mussels. They taste as good as they look.

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A plate of fried mussels with skordalia

Greek Fried Mussels

The second best thing you can do with mussels. Fried in a light breading, Greek style, these will disappear fast at a party.

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Abalone pounded thin and cut into coins, served with New Zealand spinach, sea beans and a saffron-corn sauce.

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oyster mushroom, oyster plant, pickled oyster recipe

Oyster! Oyster! Oyster!

A lightly pickled oyster, oyster mushrooms and an oyster plant croquette. One of my favorite dishes ever.

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Crab, Lobster and Shrimp

A bowl of pickled shrimp

Pickled Shrimp

A Southern classic, pickled shrimp is a perfect hot weather appetizer that’s just as good in winter.

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Dungeness crab salad in a bowl

Dungeness Crab Salad

I love this salad, which features all sorts of ingredients in season here in NorCal around Christmastime.

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A bowl of crab fried rice

Crab Fried Rice Thai Style

A Thai or Vietnamese-style fried rice made with crab and pineapple.

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A bowl of crawfish bisque

Crawfish Bisque

A French classic, crawfish stock, butter and meat gives you a triple hit of crayfish flavor.

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A bowl of cream of crab soup

Cream of Crab Soup

This is the Lowcountry classic she-crab soup, only without the crab roe, which is very hard to find. Silky, rich and spiked with sherry.

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crawfish salad recipe

Swedish Crawfish Salad

In high summer, the Scandinavians go mad for crayfish. Here is my version of a classic crawfish salad.

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spaghetti with crab sauce

Spaghetti with Crab Sauce

A rich, wonderful crab sauce for pasta. It’s made with crab meat and a deeply flavored crab stock from the shells.

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crab risotto in a bowl

Crab Risotto

Another dish that combines crabmeat and crab stock, this time with risotto rice and a little tomato.

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A bowl of clear seafood stock

Seafood Stock

Don’t throw out crab shells! Make this crab stock, freeze it and make lots of other dishes taste better…

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A plate of Lowcountry perloo, with shrimp.

Lowcountry Shrimp Perloo

A little like a jambalaya, only from the Lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina.

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Lots of fresh spot prawns, right out of the water.

All Hail Spot Prawns!

Meet the finest shrimp in all of North America. And then cook him simply.

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dried smoked shrimp

How to Make Dried Shrimp

Dried shrimp are a key ingredient in many cuisines all over the world. Here’s how to make them.

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crab curry recipe

Crab Curry

Goa is a cool part of India that was once a Portuguese colony. The food there is a mashup of both cultures, and this crab curry is a knockout.

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Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish

Squid Stir Fry

Stir-fried squid with chiles, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and fresh herbs comes together very fast, so it’s great for weeknights.

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grilled octopus recipe

Grilled Octopus, Greek Style

Nothing beats grilled octopus, some crusty bread, good olives, feta cheese and lots and lots of ouzo. Opa!

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pulpo a la gallega on a plate

Pulpo a la Gallega

A Spanish classic of octopus (or calamari) braised until tender and served with lots of paprika, olive oil and garlic. It’s a fantastic party appetizer.

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A bowl of squid ceviche.

Squid Ceviche

Yes, you can eat squid raw. It’s a Latin American tradition, and this calamari ceviche is bright and spicy.

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