Shellfish Species 7: Clam/Hamaguri
Clams come in many varieties in Japan.
They are either called Common Orient Clams or Hard Clams, whatever their mode of cooking.
Japanese Clam Variety
In 1993, Japan produced 29,000 tonnes before suffering a steep decline down to only 1,500 tonnes in 2000.
Since then imported clams are 15 times the domestic production.
Main importers to Japan are:
China (see variety above): 20,100 tonnes
North Korea (see variety above): 3,33 tonnes
A great part of both Chinese and North Korean varieties are imported young and “re-planted” on Japanese beaches to be sold as Japanese varieties!
80 percent of all clams are sold over the counter at supermarkets while 20 percent are proceesed by canneries.
Clams, like everywhere in the world, are cooked/prepared inmay ways in Japan:
Ni-Hamaguri/simmered clams served in broth with vegetables, tofu and chopped thin leeks.
Chirashizushi/”Decoration Sushi”, very popular in Japanese homes!
But my favourite is Ni-Hamaguri Sushi!
The clam,s large variety only, are first slowly simmered into broth, then drained and cooled before being served brushed with a sweet “tare” sauce. Sublime!