Are your kids in a phase of picky eating? You can’t go wrong if you fry something for them. These clam strips, made with whole belly clams (steamers with necks and membranes removed) are a step up from chicken nuggets or fish sticks, and they’re so tender that the grown-ups like them as much as the kids do. The tempura batter is light and crisp (and saves the trouble of multiple dredging steps) and the sorrel — a fresh, lemony herb that you’ll find at the farmers’ market — adds a delicious nuance to a homemade tartar sauce.
Salty Kids' Clam Strips with Sorrel Tartar Sauce
Recipe by Anna Rossi
Total Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- 1 package (10 ounces) tempura batter mix
- 2 cups canola oil
- ½ cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill pickle
- 2 tablespoons minced sorrel
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds whole belly (steamer) clam meat
- 1 lemon, sliced into wedges, for serving
Prepare the tempura batter according to the package instructions. Add water to the batter mix a little at a time to create a consistency that will coat the clams well without being clumpy.
Heat the canola oil in a medium-size pan to 375°F.
While waiting for the oil to come to temperature, prepare the tartar sauce. Combine the yogurt in a small bowl with the lemon juice, chopped pickle, sorrel, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and chill until ready to serve.
Dredge the clam meat piece by piece in the tempura batter and in fry them in the hot oil until the pieces are golden brown and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Fry the clams in batches so as not to crowd the pan and drop the temperature of the oil.
Serve the clams hot with the chilled tartar sauce on the side and wedges of lemon to squeeze over the top.
Photos by Nick Gang