Asari no Sake-Mushi (Sake-Steamed Clams)

Sake cooks the clams faster and at a lower temperature than water.

May 31, 2017


Combine 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 1/2 cups of cold water in a large, flat-bottomed container. Add the clams, cover tightly with foil, and stand for 2 hours at room temperature. This will help them spit out any grit and sand.

Wash the clams by gently rubbing them together under cold running water, and drain. Discard any clams with damaged shells. Put the clams in a large saucepan or skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When hot, pour in a scant 1/2 cup water, the sake, and soy sauce, and steam with the lid on for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cooking juices have been slightly reduced. Discard any clams that are not open.

Meanwhile, cook and drain the soba noodles, then divide between four serving dishes.

Spoon the clams over the noodles, scatter with julienned or minced scallions, and serve.

Serves 4.

About this recipe

“The advantage of steaming clams in sake, is that the sake vaporizes at a lower temperature than water. This way, the sake works to cook the clams faster, as well as erasing any fishy smell.” – Kimiko Barber

Taken from Cook Japanese at Home by Kimiko Barber, Photography by Emma Lee. Published by Kyle Books 2017.


  • 2 3/4 pounds clams
  • scant 1 cup sake
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 14 ounces dried soba noodles
  • 2 scallions, julienned or minced
  • salt
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60