The razor clam is a mollusk belonging to the Solendiae family. its name comes from its shape, resembling the handle of a straight razor. This protein-rich, 10–20-cm long mollusk lives buried in the sand, and is harvested at low tide along the Atlantic coast of France. It is detected by the small keyhole-shaped hole it makes in the sand. A little salt poured into this hole brings the razor clam out of hiding.
Razor clams are sold in bundles. Make sure that they are tightly closed. If you touch a foot of a fresh clam, it should retract. Calculate five to six razor clams per person.
Razor clams have to be soaked for 2 hours in heavily salted cold water to remove any impurities (sand, mud, etc.) Shake the clams a few times as they soak for optimum cleaning. Razor clams can be eaten raw, but are generally preferred cooked.
Pan-fry the cleaned razor clams over high heat in a large pan and deglaze with a dash of lemon juice or white wine. Discard any shells that refuse to open. Once cooked, the shells can be served open and gratinated in the oven.
Razor clams can be used in the same way as mussels. In France, they are often cooked à la Sétoise (in the style of the town of Sète), with herbs, tomato, and onions.
Razor clams are delicate and should be sold the same day they are caught. At home, they should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a moist cloth and eaten within 48 hours.