Buttery Pan Clams with Ginger and Scallions

Buttery Pan Clams with Ginger and Scallions
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Credit: Gentl and Hyers

This recipe is a part of Carla Lalli Music’s Week of Dinners. You can find all the recipes here.

Sometimes I grill clams directly on the grates but it drives me nuts when they unhinge and tip over and sacrifice their precious liquor to the coals. Cooking them in a skillet set on the grill is a great compromise — and a smart way to corral all that goodness (if you wish, do this inside on the stove). Eat this with bread for dipping in the ginger-scallion pan sauce.

– Carla Lalli Music, Author of Where Cooking Begins

Buttery Pan Clams with Ginger and Scallions

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1

    (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed

  • 3

    garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1

    small serrano chile, thinly sliced

  • 2 bunches

    scallions (white and pale-green parts only), thinly sliced, divided

  • 4 dozen

    littleneck or Manila clams, scrubbed

  • Thick slices of rustic country bread, for dipping

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter


  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high direct heat. (If you don’t have a grill, do everything as written on your stovetop.)

  2. Place a large cast-iron or heavy stainless steel skillet on grill grates and add 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add ginger, garlic, chile, and half of scallions and stir until vegetables are sizzling, about 1 minute. Add clams and 1/2 cup water (or white wine, if you have a bottle open), toss to coat, and cover skillet with a lid, baking sheet, or large piece of aluminum foil. Cook, checking and stirring every few minutes, until the clams begin to open, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer cooked clams to a large shallow bowl or platter with a slotted spoon as they open, but be quick about it. If you end up with a couple stubborn clams that refuse to open, discard them. They might be filled with sand, or they might be conscientious objectors. Either way, don’t eat them.

  3. Keep the skillet of sauce warm, off to the side. Drizzle bread generously with oil on both sides. Place over direct heat and grill until golden brown and delicious looking on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes (or toast in a toaster and then drizzle with oil). Set aside.

  4. Add butter to pan sauce and slide skillet back over direct heat. As soon as butter is foaming, about 1 minute, return clams and any accumulated liquid to sauce, shower with remaining scallions, and toss to coat. Serve clams with bread and a large empty bowl for discarding the shells.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted from Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes To Make You a Great Cook. Copyright © 2019 by Carla Lalli Music. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.