Fried clams are delicious. They taste a lot like fried calamari. Most chicken-nugget-and-french-fry-loving toddlers will devour them with no complaints.
Clams are also extremely high in iron. In fact, clams have more iron than any other food. If you are looking for ways to get more iron into your family members, this recipe is your ticket.
I was recently diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. I'll have to write up a post with what happened but in a nutshell, I found out I had H. Pylori — and H. Pylori thrives on iron. It's been a few weeks since I started on the supplements… and I am starting to feel much better. (Watch for that post any day now… writing it up now… And be sure to sign up for my email updates to get notified when I post.)
I wrote this post originally in 2009, when my daughter Kate was 2 years old. She was diagnosed at the time with anemia, and this fried clam recipe did the trick to reverse her condition. I fed her clams a 2 or 3 times over a one month period, and we went back to the doctor and her iron was normal.
Here's the original post I wrote… with the recipe to follow:
It may seem like I'm doing a lot of fried food these days, and I suppose that's true. But I just (a) got a new deep fryer, (b) rendered a whole lot of beef tallow, and (c) ordered a gallon of palm oil and five gallons of expeller-pressed coconut oil. So I'm having fun playing.
Plus, it's tough when you've got a toddler on your hands who's addicted to French fries. So addicted, that anytime we go to a restaurant and anyone at the table orders fries, she refuses to eat anything else.
Speaking of said toddler, see my post about the fact that she is slightly anemic. I think it was “milk anemia”, which is fairly common for this age group.
Which is why I whipped up this dish of fried clams for her. Did you know that clams are really high in iron? Who knew? Popeye should have been noshing on fried clams, not spinach.
Healthy Fried Clams
It turns out that clams have more iron than any other food. In one 2.5 ounce serving of clams, you get a whopping 21 mg of iron. That's almost 3 times more iron than chicken liver (8.7 mg for 2.5 ounces) and almost 9 times more than beef (2.4 mg).
Healthy Fried Clams
Makes a plate of clams — enough for a toddler's meal (contains about 42 mg of iron — toddlers need about 7 mg per day according to the RDA)
- Category: Seafood
- Refined expeller-pressed coconut oil (1 cup) or beef tallow or lard
- Clams in shell (3 pounds) — I used littleneck clams — or you can use whole canned clams (1 5 oz can)
- Heavy cream (1/2 cup)
- Egg (1) — pastured eggs are best
- All purpose flour (1/2 cup)
- Sea salt (1/2 tsp)
- A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- Pour the cream into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the egg.
- Add the flour to another bowl and mix in the salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat on low and melt the tallow, lard or expeller pressed coconut oil in a skillet.
- While the oil is melting, shuck the clams using a good oyster knife.
- How to shuck clams: Cover your wrist and forearm with a thick dishtowel to prevent injury. Pour off the liquid.
- Stir the clams into the cream and egg mixture until they have absorbed it.
- Dredge the clams in the flour mixture until well-coated.
- Turn the heat up and test the temperature. When the temperature reads 350-375 degrees (350 for coconut oil. and 375 for beef tallow or lard), drop the clams in. Don't crowd them — you can do two batches if you need to.
- Fry 2 minutes on each side — or until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Serve with lemon and homemade tartar sauce or, if you're feeding a toddler, ketchup.