Grilled Clams with Lemon Ginger Butter

Okay, so I know that clams are probably not the first thing you think of when you get that urge to crank up the grill.  Me either…my mind goes right to burgers, or chicken, or (my fave!) grilled pizza.  But one day I happened across a recipe for grilled clams with lemon ginger butter and grilled bread, and I just couldn’t look away.  Live dangerously, I thought, and I went out and bought me a couple of pounds of clams.

Now, you aren’t actually putting the clams directly on the grill itself.  They are going to cook in one of those big disposable aluminum pans that you can get in the supermarket, and which you can toss after dinner, thereby saving you (or your Southern husband) from washing yet another dish.  But before we get to the clams, we need to discuss the lemon ginger butter.  Prepare yourself.

You take a 1/2 a stick of soft butter, and mix it up with some minced shallot, some chopped fresh parsley, a little lemon juice, some lemon peel, and some minced fresh ginger.  Add in a little salt and pepper.  Now take a few slices of French bread and spread a thin layer of this fabulous butter on one side.

Now crank your barbecue up to high and lay the clams in a single layer in your aluminum pan.  You may need two pans, which worked out great for me since my store sells them in sets of two.  It’s like it was meant to be.

Put the pan on the grill, close the cover, and open it up about 8-10 minutes later.  The clams should now be opened up and cooked.  So far so good!  Scoop the clams out with a slotted spoon and pop them in a big serving bowl.  Your pan will have a nice amount of clam juice in it – this is good.  Very good.  Grab the rest of the lemon butter that didn’t go onto the bread, add it to the pan, and put the pan back on the grill until it is all melted and wonderful.

Now you have your lovely cooked clams…

And your hot melted butter sauce…now pop the buttered bread on the grill and toast it until it is all wonderfully charred and crispy.

Now take the pans of lemon butter juice and pour it over the clams in the bowl.  All of it.  Go crazy.

I don’t bother dividing the clams among separate plates – I just put the big bowl in the center of the table with the toasted bread, give everyone a plate with some toasted bread, put another bowl on the table for the empty shells, and say “Dig in!!”

And you thought the grill was just for burgers.  :)


Grilled Clams with Lemon Ginger Butter
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 6½-inch-thick diagonal baguette slices
  • 2 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed
  1. 1.Prepare barbecue (high heat). Using spatula, blend butter, minced shallot, minced fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice, minced fresh ginger, and finely grated lemon peel in small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Thinly spread lemon-ginger butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange clams in single layer in disposable aluminum pan. Place pan on grill, cover barbecue, and cook just until clams open, 8 to 10 minutes (discard any clams that do not open).
  2. Using slotted spoon, transfer grilled clams to 2 shallow bowls. Grill bread until slightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Add remaining lemon-ginger butter to juices in pan; stir on grill until melted. Pour juices from pan over clams. Serve with bread.

Recipe from Epicurious


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  1. Joanne says

    I am going to dream about that butter. I might start putting it on everything. Clams are only the beginning.

  2. Rose D., NJ says

    My husband was just telling me he had a craving for grilled clams! What a simple summer meal. Thanks! 😉

  3. Anonymous says

    Okay. I don't even like clams and you made me want to try this. How much simpler (yet complex – flavor wise) could it get?!

  4. Jenni says

    Sooo I just made these for a dinner party. Pretty sure at least 4 people had an organism at the table. The only change I made, was adding 5 cloves of minced garlic.

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