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Navajas a la Plancha

Technique: Razor Clams a la Plancha
Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Toro—Boston, MA
July 2009

Razor clams are not the most common form of seafood found on menus across the country, but their briny taste and yielding texture make them a choice subject for a small plate or appetizer. At Boston’s tapas restaurant Toro Chef Jamie Bissonnette uses the classic minimalist Iberian technique that is required to cook them just right. The clams are simply seared with “very little oil on a wicked hot Jade plancha” and pressed down with a bacon press.

Too often razor clams are served with an aioli, but “the clams are so sweet on their own,” says Bisonnette, that “the worst thing is when someone puts a rich sauce on it and they’re gone.” His are garnished with a simple and tangy piquillo pepper vinaigrette, fried garlic, chopped lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil. The result is a balanced dish with depth of flavor, textural contrast, and just the right amount of acidity. The clams are simple and straightforward, and the quick preparation lets the freshness of the seafood shine— just the type of dish that has earned Bissonnette the reputation as a “chef’s chef”.

Step 1: Peel off the belly of the clam, leaving the foot.
Step 2: Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Drizzle with canola oil.
Step 4: Put the clams on a hot plancha.
Step 5: Press and sear for 35 to 45 seconds.
Step 6: Transfer to a sizzle plate.

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Navajas a la Plancha
Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Toro—Boston, MA
Adapted by
July 2009
Yield: 4 Servings


Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette:
4 ounces piquillo peppers, drained and brunoise
1 shallot, brunoise
1 garlic clove, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 ounce chives, diced

Razor Clams:
20 razor clams
Black pepper
¼ cup canola oil

To Assemble and Serve:
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch fried garlic
Extra virgin olive oil  


For the Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette:
Combine the peppers, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and fish sauce. Season with salt and add chives. 

For the Razor Clams:
Shuck the clams, leaving the foot attached to one side of the shell. Discard the other side of the shell. Remove the belly and discard. Season the clams with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with canola oil. Put the clams foot-side down on a hot plancha and drizzle with more oil. Press with a bacon press or pan and let sear for 35 to 45 seconds, or until the clams are golden brown. Transfer from the plancha to a sizzle plate. 

To Assemble and Serve:
Arrange six razor clams per serving. Garnish with piquillo pepper vinaigrette, fried garlic, chopped lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil.

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  Published: July 2009