Legal Seafood New England Clambake

The clambake - it's an American tradition with a history that goes back to the first settlers. For survival, the pilgrims originally adopted from the local Indians the practice of baking shellfish in a sandpit. Today, the clambake has become a favorite summer ritual that brings friends and family together for an all-American feast… where's a better place to have a clambake than in the state that's built on sand.

A clambake serves up mouth watering lobster, steamers, potatoes, corn, sausage, and all the fixings, that makes a clambake a culinary tradition - and speaking of tradition, a clambake usually takes place at the beach, but as you can see in the following recipes, a clambake can be prepared on the backyard grill, the stove top, and even the microwave oven.

The classic clambake: On the beach in a hole.

All amounts in these recipes are based on per person servings.

The best (and humane) method for preparing the lobster for these recipes is to freeze them for 10 minutes prior to cooking. It puts them asleep.


  • 1 (1 pound) lobster
  • 4 ounces chorizo sausage
  • 3/4 to 1 pound steamer clams
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 1 bag rockweed
  • 2 or 3 medium bliss potatoes
  • 1 large onion

You'll also need a shovel, lots of wood or charcoal, dry beach rocks, aluminum foil, and a canvas tarp.


  1. Cooking on the beach: Dig the hole (suggested size for 12 people is 4 x 4 x 3). Heat the hole with charcoal or logs for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Carefully remove the coals exposing the hot rocks.
  3. Quickly place the ingredients on top of the rocks in the following order:

    10-inch layer of rockweed
    Lobsters lying back to back
    2-inch layer of rockweed corn on the cob
    Bliss potatoes
    Steamers wrapped in cheesecloth
    Sausage wrapped in foil
    2-inch layer of rockweed
    Corn on the cob
    1-inch layer of rockweed
    The onion
  4. Cover with tarp and allow to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. A good guideline to follow is when the onion is done, the clambake is done.

The clambake in the microwave

  • 1 (1 pound) lobster
  • 1 corn on the cob, husk and silk removed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Rockweed
  • 3/4 to 1 pound steamer clams
  1. Place rockweed in bottom of microwaveable cooking bag. Place corn and lobster on top of rockweed. Add lemon. Close bag and cook for 8 minutes on HIGH.
  2. Remove lobster from microwave, and let sit. Place steamers in another cooking bag on a plate and cook for 3 minutes on HIGH. Remove clams from microwave and serve with lobster and corn.

The clambake on the grill

  • 1 (1 pound) lobster
  • 8 ounces sausage
  • 3/4 to 1 pound steamer clams
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • Rockweed
  • 2 or 3 medium bliss potatoes
  1. Remove silk from the fresh corn leaving the husk, and soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Cut bliss potatoes in half and coat with a vinaigrette.
  3. Grill sausage, potatoes, and corn for 10 minutes.
  4. Fold 5 feet of heavy aluminum foil in half and place on table.
  5. Place 1 inch layer of rockweed big enough to protect the foil from the lobster in the center of the foil.
  6. Place grilled corn, sausage, and potatoes on the foil.
  7. Add the lobster and the juice of half a lemon. Wrap in foil leaving a little air pocket at the top.
  8. Cook on hot grill for 25 minutes.

The clambake in a pot (Clambake Soup variation)

  • 2 quarts cold water
  • Your favorite herbs
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 12 ounces beer or wine
  • 1 cup diced of each of the following: zucchini, summer squash, tomato, celery carrot, and onion
  • 2 corn on the cob with husks removed
  • 2 pounds chorizo or andouille sausage
  • 4 (1 pound) lobsters
  • 4 pounds steamer clams
  • 2 handsful rockweed
  1. Cooking the lobster: Add seasoning and beer or wine to cold water. Add celery, carrot, and onions. Bring to rolling boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add bliss potatoes, corn squash, tomatoes, zucchini, and sausage. Add lobster. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Cooking the steamers:
  4. Add steamer clams to the steamer pot. Cover with 1-inch layer of rockweed. Cover pot, and rock for 8 to 10 minutes more.

Posted by Gaylel at Recipe Goldmine 4/7/02 11:13:57 pm.

Source: - a New England clambake from Legal Seafoods chef Joe Coletto

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