Geoduck immediately grabbed my attention when I first saw it on No Reservations years ago. Its rarity, expensive price point, renown oceanic tastes, and unique texture made geoduck an item I had to try. It became legend to me. The funny looking clam, with its large shell and what looks like a tiny elephant trunk, is typically found in the Pacific Northwest and super popular in China. I never proactively searched for geoduck and deployed a sit-back and hope I come across it somewhere approach. This plan (or lack of plan) failed me a good 10+ years. I live on the east coast, and I never saw geoduck on a menu or behind a fishmonger counter. Then one day, the geoduck gods answered my non-proactive, beckoning calls.
On one visit to H-Mart, I noticed something different out of the corner of my eye. It was a box that was on top of the seafood display. When I observed the contents of this box, my food soul fluttered. Geoduck! To say I became overly excited, like a girl that saw the Beatles land in America, may be an understatement. And best of all, the geoduck was less than $20 per pound, which may be considered a steal (sorry H-Mart). I never came across geoduck, let alone prepared it. Fortunate for me, the fishmonger was a geoduck expert and gave me the download. He instructed for me to make sashimi out of the geoduck’s trunk, and stir-fry the clam’s body (you can find another Peck the Beak blog post on it here).
Preparing the sashimi is easy. I suggest sprinkling it in as appetizer with a group of friends. The geoduck is such a party trick, and everyone will get a kick out of the “condom” looking sashimi slices.
Tip(s): one tip to preparing the geoduck is to boil it for 30 seconds and immediately drown it in a ice water bath. You need to remove the outer skin of the geoduck’s trunk, but not cook it.
Taste: like pure oceanic bliss with an incredible depth of sweet salt water. It had the resembles of a scallop and clam, combined. The two sauces of a traditional soy + wasabi and the Korean gochujang with vinegar are wonderful compliments. I prefer the hotter Korean sauce.
Texture: by far the most interesting part of the geoduck is its texture. The sashimi had an immediate crisp / light snap to them, like a wet cucumber. This quickly transforms into a slight and delightful chew, like well-prepared octopus mixed with an oyster texture.
Geoduck Sashimi Recipe & Ingredients (serves 2-4):
- 1 geoduck, fresh
- Large pot water
- Large bowl ice water
- Soy sauce
- Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- Rice wine vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. The trunk of the geoduck can be long and the entire geoduck needs to fit in the water pot. While the water is boiling, prepare the two dipping sauces. For the first sauce, simply combine the wasabi and soy sauce to your liking. For the second sauce, you will need to stir the vinegar and gochujang vigorously to smooth it out. Feel free to use as much vinegar as your taste buds enjoy.
Submerge the geoduck in the boil water. We only need to boil the geoduck for 30 seconds. This is enough to remove the outer skin of the clam’s trunk but not cook the geoduck. Relocate the geoduck to the ice water bath to halt the cooking process. It is called sashimi. Sleep geoduck, sleep. Using your hands, remove the outer layer of skin. It should come off easily. Save the body of the clam for another recipe.
With a sharp knife, slash the geoduck sashimi into thin pieces. And that is it. Present the geoduck sashimi on a platter with simple access to the dipping sauces. Have a lemon handy for any one that needs it.
Get after it!