As a New Englander I feel confident when I say that not all things are created equal – and by things I mean seafood dishes. If you’ve ever tried to order Clam Chowder from a restaurant not in New England then you know what I’m talking about.
I remember picking out the perfect lobster from the fresh market when we would visit family in Maine, stealing all the whole-bellies when my mom ordered the clam basket at the Crab Shack, and my first steamed mussel – mmmm!
Now, not everyone has had or will have the opportunity to experience what real Clam Chowder tastes like, so instead of making your mouth water and leaving you to wonder, we have included recipes to make your very own New England Seafood feast.
1. New England Clam Bake
Valerie Aikman-Smith // Smoke and Spice // via Leites Culinaria // photo by Erin Kunkel
Perfect for any special occasion. Traditionally cooked in a sand pit lined with stones on the beach, the clam bake is the perfect way to cook all of your favorite shellfish over a bed of seaweed.
2. Lobster Roll
Recipe and photo via Elles New England Kitchen,
An oldie but a goodie! Lobster meat soaked with hot butter and packed into a top-sliced bun, buttered and toasted. No need to break the bank on this one, grab one from any road-side stand and you’ll never be disappointed.
3. Steamed Lobster
Recipe and photo from Carolyn Cope at Umami Girl
There is nothing more satisfying than getting every ounce of this sweet meat out of one of these suckers. Let’s get crackin’!
4. Clam Cakes
This Clam Cakes recipe is from Sherry at Olives-N-Okra
Also known as clam fritters – grab these bites of deep fried goodness from any take-out joint in Rhode Island. Eat them on their own, with clam chowder, or dipped in tartar sauce.
5. Clam Shack Clams
Recipe and photo by Jasper White // The Summer Shack Cookbook // via Leites Culinaria
An iconic New England dish, “fried clams are to New England what barbecue is to the South.” You’ll find the best strips and whole bellies at sea side clam shacks – served with slaw and tartar sauce.
6. New England Clam Chowder
Recipe and photo from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt via Serious Eats
Creamy and delicious. You’ll know when it’s right and you’ll know when it’s wrong. Side note: if it’s not served with oyster crackers, walk out. Walk out NOW.
7. Steamed Mussles
Recipe and photo from Malcolm Bedell via From Away
A good batch of steamed mussels in a white wine sauce will change your life.
8. Beer Battered Fish and Chips
via Food Network
If you’re looking for comfort food, look no further.
9. New England Steamers
Recipe and photo from Elise Bauer via Simply Recipes
These soft shell clams are easy to find and inexpensive to buy in the summer months in New England. Soak in saltwater before cooking.