How to Clean a Geoduck 101: Andrew Zimmern Style

Image Credit / YouTube

And he’s back!

Acclaimed chef, celebrity, and author, Andrew Zimmern, loved Fathom Seafood’s Dungeness fare so much that he came back for more; this time he tries out Fathom’s newest feature, the Pacific Northwest geoduck clam. 

Straight from Zimmern’s Instagram page...

Geoduck is the most delicious clam in the world. Sweet and briny, its distinct flavor will transport you to the Pacific Northwest coast. Take a bite, close your eyes… can you smell that saltwater breeze? It’s one of my favorite ingredients to work with, but the giant clam can be daunting to prepare—and might even make you blush—so watch my new Youtube video to learn how to get started! 

What in the world is a geoduck clam?

The geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck) is from the mollusk family and is the largest and longest-living clam in the world. They are filter feeders and can grow up to 15 pounds and live up to 180 years old, which is the longest living geoduck known so far. They are a very sustainable product and are sweet and delicious, despite their appearance!

Click here to read Fathom’s article, What is a Geoduck? 

In his Fathom Seafood feature on YouTube, Zimmern takes two types of geoduck clams and shows viewers how to properly clean them.

The two types are geoducks are:

  • Farmed: Geoduck aquaculture or farming is where seedlings are placed in the wild on the ocean floor and collected later about five to seven years later, which is a very sustainable process. 
  • Wild: The geoduck spreads millions of eggs each year and burrow in the ground and stay away from predators. 

Did you know that Fathom Seafood ships their geoduck clam alive, just like the Dungeness crab they offer? That’s how Zimmern received his geoduck: alive, cold, and ready to clean!

There are Two Options when Cleaning Live Geoduck. 

  • Option One: 

Drop the geoduck into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, which will loosen up the shell and allow you to slice it open and remove the entire body. You will then slip off the thin, skin-like covering that is protecting the geoduck. Once the covering comes off, you are able to see how the geoduck is able to stretch out to quite an extraordinary length. 

*Note: Zimmern does not prefer this first option, as plunging it in water because it causes the geoduck to lose the natural juices; it can also blanch the meat. 

  • Option Two:

Zimmern prefers to use his kitchen torch to scorch the shell and pull the snout off. He then makes an incision to remove the clam body over a bowl. The juices will go into the bowl, which can be used later.

Follow these simple steps to effectively clean a Fathom Seafood geoduck. 

  1. Use a kitchen torch to blacken the skin of the geoduck. 
  2. Hold it over a bowl while this process occurs to collect juices.
  3. Blacken the skin that is between the two shells as well. 
  4. Gently pull off the skin now that it has been blackened. (Like pantyhose, Zimmern says!) 

Zimmern demonstrates to viewers how far the geoduck clam can reach out of the sand to breathe after he takes the skin off and stretches it out. The geoduck can rise at least two feet out of the sand and water! 

  1. With a sharp, short paring knife, enter about a quarter of an inch back from the front and press the knife against the strongest part of the shell.
  2. Repeat on the other side.
  3. You may wash and keep the shells to use them as a bowl for salt or dipping sauce. 
  4. Take your knife and cut out the digestive and reproductive tract, which can be tossed or used in soups.
  5. Rinse the body in cold water.

Cleaning Geoduck

Image Credit / YouTube 

The geoduck is ready to prep! 

Zimmern’s overall goal is to get more people to enjoy the geoduck, which is a delicious and mouthwatering species. 

Interested in seeing geoduck cleaning in action? 

Watch the full video here!


If you have been inspired and would like to buy geoduck from Fathom Seafood, check out their website now. Receive your order within 24 hours! 

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