One cuisine I will never get tired of is Japanese. I can have sushi for breakfast, tonkatsu for lunch and soba for dinner and my world would be complete. I can’t even say the same for Korean food – and I grew up eating Korean food every day! Constantly seeking out new Japanese dishes, I came across one classic that I haven’t tried before, Japanese sake clams or Asari no Sakamushi. Like many Japanese recipes, these clams are prepared with minimal ingredients yet deliver on flavor. The perfect recipe for a busy night or a chilly day.

Japanese sake clams


Serves 2


Japanese Sake Clams

30 minTotal Time

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  • 1 1/2 lb manila or littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 1 tbsp ginger, julienned
  • 1 Thai chili
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil large saute pan over high heat. Add ginger and Thai chili and saute for 30 seconds. Add clams and pour sake into the pan. Cover with lid and cook until clam shells begin to open about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Remove lid and remove clams from pan, leaving the broth. Add butter and soy sauce to the juices, stirring to mix. Season with black pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Pour sauce over clams. Sprinkle green onions on top and serve immediately.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I find that most clams dishes are easy to prepare. All you need is a solid sauce base and fresh clams to make one standout meal. These Japanese sake clams do just that with just a few ingredients.

First things first, make sure to purge the sand from your clams and scrub them clean. Simply place them in a bowl with cool tap water and let them sit for 20 minutes to 1 hour. The clams will do all the heavy lifting and spit out the sand themselves. Remove the clams from the water and give them a good scrub to remove any outside grit. Voila! Now you’re ready to start cooking.

Since these clams rely heavily on sake and ginger, you want to purchase fresh ginger and a good bottle of sake. You are essentially steaming clams in sake with aromatics if you really want to get down to it. To round out the sauce, finish it with butter, soy sauce, and black pepper. Garnish the clams with green onions and get ready to dig in.

I like to spoon the rest of the soup over a bowl of rice to savor every last bite.

Japanese sake clams


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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