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Fried Clam Dinner

Posted in: Dinner, Lunch, American, 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Seafood, Summer,


The 4th of July is a day of national celebration and family festivities that features both food and fun. Legend has it than in 1776, to celebrate American independence, John Adams and his wife enjoyed a meal of New England seafood. In keeping with this tradition, Maine native Jim Bailey, or “The Yankee Chef,” prepares an authentic 4th of July meal of batter fried clams, coleslaw and fresh tartar sauce, perfect for any family picnic, cookout or potluck. The sweetness of the batter paired with the saltiness of the fresh clams and the crispy batter’s crunch make this dish ridiculously tasty. Add in the fresh cucumber tartar sauce for dipping and sweet, apple infused coleslaw, and you have a perfect picnic of meal to celebrate the birth of our nation that your family and friends will love.


Fried Clam Dinner

Batter Fried Clams:

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups of milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 beaten egg

10-15 ounces shucked clams, rinsed and well drained

1 quart vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Tartar Sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup cucumbers, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


2 cups of coleslaw mix, or two cups of shredded lettuce, cabbage and carrots

3/4 cups mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon apple juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon chives, chopped


Directions Batter Fried Clams:

1. In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, baking powder and sugar. Stir to combine.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave for 15 seconds or until soft. Add milk, melted butter and a beaten egg. Wisk together until thoroughly blended.

3. In a large pan heat oil to 350 degrees.

4. Dip the clams into the batter. Shake off access batter. Place clams in the batter. Fry 3-4 at a time around 1 minute or until golden brown, turning once. Remove gently with a fork, and drain on paper towels.

5. Serve with coleslaw and fresh tartar sauce.

Directions Tartar Sauce:

1. Add mayonnaise to a small-medium bowl.  

2. Mince the cucumbers into very small pieces, and place them in the bowl too. Add lemon juice and cayenne pepper to the bowl as well. 

3. Mix the ingredients together well. 

4. Serve with your favorite seafood.  

Directions Coleslaw:

1. Fill a large mixing bowl with the coleslaw mix, whether it is prepackaged, or fresh chopped vegetables.

In a small to medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, apple juice and sugar. Mix together until the ingredients are well incorporated. 

3. Add the chopped chives. Mix the dressing together until the ingredients are blended well. 

4. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix. Stir until the mix is completely covered in the dressing. 

5. Just before service, add a half of an apple, grated. Mix the apple in to marry it with the rest of the ingredients. Be sure not to add the apple too early, as it will brown the entire dish.

Recipe courtesy of Jim Bailey, The Yankee Chef, 2013.

About The Cook

Jim Bailey Jim Bailey, The Yankee Chef, is a third generation New England chef and Food Historian. Being a chef for over 25 years, his first cookbook, in a series, entitled The Yankee Chef came out this year. H

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