2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
Pinch of togarashi spice blend, optional (see Note)
Fill a medium bowl with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the clams and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the clams and rinse them well.
In a large, deep skillet, combine the sake with the water and bring to a boil. Add the Manila clams, cover the skillet tightly and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until most of the clams have opened, about 4 minutes.
Spoon the clams and broth into 4 medium bowls. Top with the butter, garnish with the scallions and <em>togarashi</em> and serve at once.
Togarashi is a Japanese blend of cayenne, sesame seeds and seaweed. It is available at Asian markets.