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Geoduck

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Geoduck is a clam native to the coast of the NW USA and British Columbia, that can get as big as 14 pounds. This may be old news to you.

I'd heard of it before, and then in the Smithsonian magazine I got yesterday there was an article about them. Apparently they're legendary. I never realized how highly they're valued in some places/circles. In Hong Kong they've been sold for $60 for a single clam. Wow.

I'd also like to thank Craig Welch for an excellent article.

I've never tasted geoduck and I will make a point of tasting them. Do any of you have recommendations or comments?
post #2 of 19
a long time ago, in th eearly 80's, I thought I saw a geoduck mentioned in one of my sushi books.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #3 of 19
It's hard for me to imagine that something so homely could taste good. I've never had it, but I saw a TV program recently that featured the geoduck in one of its segments. It was something like The Dirtiest Job , or that food network show in which the guy goes to various sites and gets up close & personal with foods (I don't recall the name of the show, but it's the fella that was a contestant for Next Food Network Star last year). Anyway, I don't remember the show demonstrating how to prepare or cook this critter, or any discussion regarding the flavor.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #4 of 19
Yep, geoduck is big in China for its umm... supposed abilities in enhancing male organs (generally, if it looks like something, you can bet most people will think it's good for that part of the body). Since it's a clam I personally feel you have to prepare it carefully or it'll get tough in no time flat.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #5 of 19
Ooooohhhhhhh. Like Fugu, it's an aphrodisiac. Hmmmmm, I'd better report this one to the pope. :crazy:

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #6 of 19
Betcha can't eat just one!

A few years ago at a Women Chefs and Restaurateurs conference in Seattle, I went on a tour that stopped at a geoduck farm. We were treated to a demonstration of how to prepare geoduck sashimi-- each part was done differently. Variations were mostly on the size and shape and scoring of the pieces, iirc. What I remember most was how sweet and tender the flesh was.

As for being an aphrodisiac -- that's probably in the mind of the beholder, since geoducks do bear a kind of resemblance to giant, um, well, yeah.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #7 of 19
Fugu, OTOH, contains a neurotransmitter the provides enhancement. Traditionally the Japanese chef who prepared the item then tasted it and stood at the dinner table to actually show the resulting enlargement of his member - proving that the item had been properly prepared. And no joke on this one. Now back to the original topic.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #8 of 19
Charlie Trotter seems to be a fan of the geoduck, and thus he has several recipes for them in his seafood cookbook. I've never looked for them, nor eaten one.
post #9 of 19
Yeah, they are expensive :( I just put in my first order at CatalinaOp which I should receive this afternoon. Their prices are Ok, but the shipping really shoots the cost up. But I really expect that I'm not going to get overnight shipping cheap.

They also sell the Live Geoduck clams at Catlinaop. The price is $35/each, each clam weighs between 2-2.5lbs.

For tips on preparing Geoduck you can check Tips on serving Geoduck clams


good luck,
dan
post #10 of 19
I wonder where the legend of the geoduck came from?
post #11 of 19
does anyone know the season they're available? i know that chicago's chinatown offers them... i'll make sure to try them
post #12 of 19
I'm friends with the local sushi chef/owner at a place near Chicago. He gets fresh daily flown in to O'Hare airport and had geoduck one day. So I was in the mood for different and told him I'd try it.

Awful.

This was fresh, the thing was still alive, and it had a very bitter taste. I think this is one of those thats better cooked than raw. He told me he saves them for his Asian born customers because most people don't care for them.

So I tried it, and I'll try anything, but I can't say I cared for it.
post #13 of 19
Throughout the ages any plant or animal resembling a human body part was considered beneficial for that body part. I have some Korean red ginseng root that resembles a human body in its entirety.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #14 of 19
I lived in a house on Puget Sound for four years, and had geoducks (pronounced gooey-duck) in my front yard. Never went after them though; they live three or so feet down in the sand or mud. Their shells are pretty small, and can't begin to contain their ... umm... thing. It's their depth in the ooze that protects them.

You can't catch them by grabbing their ... umm.. thing... and pulling, because it breaks off. How would you like it if somebody grabbed your ... umm... thing and pulled until it came off? :eek: :eek:

Actually, I believe it's referred to as a neck or a siphon.

Just as we left the Pacific Northwest, an entreprenur started chasing them commercially - he put on scuba gear and used a high-pressure hose to wash away the sand and uncover them.

They're tough as nails, and at the time were only used - as small dice - in chowder. Dunno what sort of recipes they've developed since then.

Miss the PacNW; lots of good stuff to eat, not least the Dungeness crab. :bounce:

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #15 of 19
Did he cut the bitterness with anything? Just wondering -- I've heard that raw geoduck is usually served with tosa-joyu, which is basically soy sauce mixed with fine sake and a bit of kombu, allowed to sit, then strained and aged for some months. It has a sweet depth and complexity that normal soy doesn't. I've never encountered geoduck here, so this is mostly academic interest.

What was the texture like?
post #16 of 19
They have a similar texture as conch.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
My eyes aren't that great and at first I read that as "similar texture as a couch". lol

I haven't tried conch, what's it like?
post #18 of 19
Raw conch and abalone have a bit of a crispness to them as you bite. Geoduck is always slightly chewy. The taste should be mild, slightly briny and sweet. The Japanese name is "mirugai," btw; it's very common in sushi bars, and because it's so common I don't think it's fair to call it a delicacy at all -- at least not on the west coast. At a large Vietnamese seafood market in Rosemead, price for live geoduck, alive and in the tank, customer chooses and "catches" his or her own (with a pair of tongs), was around $6/lb, as of last week. By comparison, farmed Alaskan Coho salmon was $3/lb for a whole fish.

Bitterness in shellfish is not a matter of how to "fix," "compliment," or "disguise." It's indicative that the animal is not fresh and should not be eaten. If the animal tastes or smells at all like iodine -- pass.

My favorite ways to eat geoduck are raw, as sashimi, nigiri sushi; semi-raw, as ceviche; or fried. I especially like fried geoduck as an oyster substitute in a Hangtown fry (not that there's anything wrong with oysters!). As sushi or sashimi the traditonal garnish is a bit of soy sauce only. Geoduck is way up my list of favorite sashimi, but only in a trusted bar. As sushi, the flavor is quite delicate and I'd classify it as more a texture than a taste.

I wouldn't buy it myself, unless I was sure it was alive at the time. That is, I would not buy on ice but only from a tank. That's easy for me to say because I've got the luxury. If "on ice" was the only way to go, I'd give it a whirl.

When doing a geoduck ceviche, it's incredibly good with papaya and a garnish of avocado at service. As a fried clam, it's quite good, makes an excellent clam po-boy. As part of a Hangtown fry, it's a great late supper -- especially with bourbon or brandy and soda.

BDL
post #19 of 19
BDL, do you come in a pocketbook version?


;)

dan
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