Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
The liquid that comes out of clams is referred to as clam juice, and a cook can either obtain this juice himself or purchase it in a jar or bottle. Clam juice is often used as a base or flavoring for seafood soups, particularly clam chowder. It can be used to make a sauce for pasta. Some cooks also use this liquid as a flavoring in other dishes, such as stir-fry, and it can be used as a substitute for fish stock. A variation of the classic bloody Mary cocktail can also be made by adding a splash of clam juice.
Clams are mollusks that can be found either in fresh or salt water, and they are a very popular type of seafood. When the shells are removed during a process known as shucking, a small amount of liquid is usually released. This liquid is often referred to as clam juice. People who prefer not to use or shuck fresh clams can often find this juice in most large supermarkets.
Often, clam juice can be used as a base for seafood soups, such as lobster bisque and clam chowder. Some types of clam chowder, such as New England clam chowder, are cream based, while other types, such as Manhattan clam chowder, are tomato based. Chopped clams, vegetables, and spices are also usually used to make this type of chowder.
Clam-juice-based sauces are also very popular and easy to make, and these sauces also usually include bits of cooked clams as well. White clam sauce is usually made from the juice from clams, cream, and butter. Red clam sauce, on the other hand, is usually tomato based. Both of these types of sauces are usually tossed with long thin pasta, such as linguini, and sprinkled with cheese.
The use of clam juice is not always limited just to cooking with clams. It can be added to other seafood dishes as well. For example, it can be used to flavor some Asian dishes, such as stir-fry or lo mein. It can also be used as a fish stock substitute, and used to make fish stew.
This type of juice can be used to flavor some alcoholic beverages, particularly bloody Marys. To make this type of drink, vodka is mixed with tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, pepper, and clam and lemon juice. These types of cocktails are often referred to as clam diggers, and they can be garnished with a celery stalk, lemon wedge, or shrimp.
I've made clam chowder and I'd never make it without clam juice. That's just part of the recipe. You need the clam juice for the extra clam flavor of the chowder. It can get covered up by all the cream and potatoes.
I also make sure I have fresh herbs for my clam chowder, which helps brighten the overall flavor of the soup. But I always use clam juice. It's not the same chowder without it.
I've used clam juice as a stock for gumbo. You can't always find fish stock, but clam juice is everywhere, and it doesn't seem to alter the taste of the gumbo much. You still get the seafood taste, which is what you're looking for.
I've seen clamato juice in the grocery store. Yuck. I guess people make clamdiggers with it. I can't imagine anyone buying it just to drink, like tomato juice. The very idea is more than a little icky.
I would think clam juice would also come in handy when making a steaming broth for clams, or for mussels. You're mixing it with white wine and herbs, so it might be all right.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!