The geoduck is an astonishing two-for-one special! There’s a distinct clam trunk and body. Its trunk was created to be sashimi. This is the best way to experience the large clam’s remarkable crisp texture and salty yet sweet oceanic taste. The body, however, was not created to be eaten for one perfect purpose. I have heard the geoduck body is also great raw, but it is probably best cooked. Perhaps this is so because of the geoduck’s body large size and intimidating texture (more slimy & squishy). For me, it was simple, there was only one thing I really wanted to do with the geoduck body. That was to sauté it in olive oil, over high heat, with an egregious amount of garlic & red pepper flakes – southern Italian or fra diavalo style without the tomatoes. And if you are as fortunate as I was, your geoduck will be a male and come with a pair of large clam testicles to also include in the Italian stir-fry!
Taste: while lots of garlic and red pepper flakes may sound over-welcoming, they pair well with the geoduck’s body. A slight clam-like taste is definitely noticeable, but like a conch, the geoduck’s body hides hints of mushroom and seabed. The touch of butter at the end brings a lovely nutty accent to the dish. Most importantly, the smokiness from the red pepper flakes just really make the dish!
Texture: the sauted geoduck body is a plethora of delights, thanks in part to having a male geoduck. Some parts were rather chewy, like a cooked clam, and other parts were unbelievably decadent and creamy melt in your mouth. The mixture of these two contrasting textures creates a playground for the mouth.
Tips: dunk the clam into boiling water for 30 secs to easily remove the geoduck body from its shell (and the trunk’s skin), use a piping hot pan, work quickly, add the geoduck pieces right after adding the garlic & red pepper flakes, finish with a touch of butter
Sautéed Geoduck, Italian Fra Diavolo Recipe
Ingredients (serves 1-2)
- One geoduck body, removed from clam shell and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 6-10 garlic cloves, smashed and rough chopped
- 1 teapsoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Knob of butter
Place a saute pan over high heat for a minute and add the olive oil. Immediately toss in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Allow for the garlic and red pepper flakes to exude their natural flavors/oils, especially the smokiness from the red pepper flakes.
After a minute, add the geoduck pieces and allow them to sautee. These should cook for no more than a couple of minutes. After 2-3 minutes, add the knob of butter, season it with some salt and pepper, and serve.
This dish is great on it’s own but also try it on a crostini. Get after it! Enjoy.