Clams are one of my favorite foods and this dish is a well-traveled Japanese go-to favorite. It’s fast and easy, and paired with a bowl of short-grain rice and some fresh shiso—or shiso-based furikake (rice seasoning)—makes it one of my favorite simple weeknight dinners. Add a scorched spinach sauté with miso and sesame and you have an elegant summer meal.
The combination of sake, soy and butter is one that’s worth experimenting with. If you haven’t tried cooking this before, it’s the most basic and often replicated izakaya clam recipe that I can think of. Everyone does a version of this dish. You’ve probably tasted it and not realized what the magical thrill ride was—it’s the soy and butter. I often use this same sauce to deglaze a pan after searing fish, pork or chicken. Get the Recipe