A friend of mine (professional seafood cook) told me to steam mussels fast and furious until they burst open.

Yesterday, I mixed mussels and clams. The mussels opened up perfectly, but the clams were stuck to the shells and, instead of getting them out whole, they were minced.

Should the clams be opened with a knife before steaming, or should they steam longer than the mussels?


Clams take about twice to three times as long to cook than mussels. The shells are just so much thicker it takes that long for the heat to get inside. Kinda like trying to cook a 2 inch steak on a grill beside a 1/2 inch steak and expecting them both to be done at the same time.

If you want to have both for a meal then do them in seperate pots and mix after or... pre-cook the clams (not recommended) and add them to the mussels when cooking them, so they'll re-heat (and get rubbery too probably but I know many a restaurant that does this...they have no love for the clam).

Seperate pots is the best way. Enjoy.

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  • I'll give that a try next time. – BaffledCook Feb 14 '12 at 9:10
  • Works like a charm. Mussels at 130ºC steam for 3', clams at the same temp. 5'. – BaffledCook Mar 20 '12 at 19:18
  • Glad to hear it. – Chef Flambe Mar 21 '12 at 5:06

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