The Happy Home Cook: Manila Clams in Pinot Grigio

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 Manila Clams in Pinot Grigio (Photo by Besa-Quirino, LLC ©)

Manila Clams in Pinot Grigio (Photo by Besa-Quirino, LLC ©)

During Lent, the easiest, fastest dish to put together is this Manila Clams in Pinot Grigio. My son, Tim, had enjoyed a similar dish on his trip to Europe. He liked it so much; he cooked his recreated version with us, his parents when he returned from France. The one-inch wide Manila clams were tender, slightly salty and heavenly. The sweet broth was flavored with Pinot Grigio and added a special dimension to the appeal of this dish. This is an Asian in America recipe by Tim Quirino. Serve this as an appetizer, a side or an entree. Serves 4.


Manila clams - 50 pieces, regular-sized, fresh, live in their shells
water - enough to boil the clams in the large stock pot
butter - 6 Tablespoons (unsalted)
garlic - half a head, peeled, minced
shallots - 1 piece, chopped
Pinot Grigio - 1 cup
organic vegetable broth - 1/2 cup
fresh flat parsley - 1/2 cup, chopped, for garnish
sea salt - 1 1/2 teaspoon, divided, use 1/2 teaspoon for boiling clams
freshly ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon
fresh lemon - 1 piece, sliced, for garnish, to sprinkle juice on cooked clams


  • Cook clams the same day purchased. When you get home, wash clams in water. Brush off the beards while washing.

  • In a large stockpot, place the clams and enough water to cover it. Add half a teaspoon sea salt. Over high heat, cover and cook the clams for 10 to 12 minutes. The steam will allow the clam shells to open. (Note: if any clams failed to open, discard them. It's a sign the clams are dead. Do not eat the unopened clams).

  • In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add the butter. After a minute or two, when butter has melted, sauté the garlic and shallots. Swirl these around the skillet for a minute or two till shallots are transparent.

  • Add the Pinot Grigio and deglaze the wine. When it's sizzling (not boiling) after about two minutes, allow the alcohol to cook out, till there is no more scent of the Pinot.

  • Drain the water from the clams in the stockpot. Add the cooked clams to the skillet with the sautéed ingredients. Add the organic broth. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Shake the skillet sideways so the clams settle and blend all around with the rest of the ingredients.

  • Cover and let the broth simmer for 5 minutes more over medium heat.

  • Garnish with fresh flat parsley and lemon slices. Serve hot. Sprinkle lemon juice over clams if desired.

  • Cook's comments: Tim suggested adding more wine or broth if you want a soupy broth to dip bread into.

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