How to Clean and Prepare a Geoduck
Before I left for Seattle, Washington for the 9th Japan-USA Nurse Reunion I was determined to search for a source where these giant clams known as geoduck (pronounced gooey duck) are sold. I wanted to purchase them live but also at a reasonable price.
At a well known restaurant and market in Seattle they were going for $38/pound. However, I tasted their geoduck sashimi appetizer prepared with soy sauce and a little wasabi; it was disappointing, my husband and I thought it was dry and a bit tough. I headed to the International District (in Seattle) and found live ones at $18/pound.
The sales person was able to quickly pull out a plump and healthy looking one for me. I never in my life paid $45 for a clam before but this is probably my only opportunity to prepare a live one. From what I read these clams were $6/pound several years ago, and now are being exported to Asia for a much higher price.
Perhaps the next time I am in Seattle I will not be able to afford them. I find that the tastiest preparation of this geoduck is to keep it simple. When they are fresh they are best as sashimi or ceviche style.
This geoduck is easy to prepare. Just keep it on ice until you get home. Since I paid so much money for mine I basically ran back to my temporary home! You can leave it in the refrigerator on ice. Be sure to let it breath by keeping the bag partially open.
It is best to prepare it as soon as you get it home. I was not able to do that due to a busy reunion schedule but it was still good the next day, although it shrank some when the liquid leaked out. Dip the whole geoduck in hot boiling water for about 10 seconds to remove the skin of the siphon.
I cut the siphon (I prefer to call it a trunk but it is also known as the neck for some people) at the base (next to the shell).
Remove the skin from the siphon (see above).
Next slide a sharp knife along the shell and gently remove the body. Remove the skin from the body.
Remove and discard the stomach contents, saving the mantle and the outer part of the stomach (if interested). I just remove the stomach contents and keep the rest. Because I was not able to eat everything in one day I placed the body in a plastic bag and kept it in the freezer for use later.
I cut the siphon lengthwise into one butterfly-like fillet.
Once cut, wash the siphon well to remove any sand or dirt.
Once cleaned cut the siphon according to your needs. If sliced thinly the pieces will curl up and this indicates freshness. Our bus driver who grew up in Washington and is an avid fisherman tells me he never buys seafood. He harvests them himself.
He thought the siphon was tough so he uses a mallet to tenderize it. I find that fresh thin slices are tender and do not require this process.
*Be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges of the shell. Use gloves to protect yourself.