Fried Clams with a Classic Tartar Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 11 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 3 hr
  • Cook: 1 min
  • Yield: 4 first course servings
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1 quart fresh shucked clams

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semolina flour

1/4 cup instant flour (recommended: Wondra)

1/4 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows

Lemon wedges

Tartar Sauce, recipe follows

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Tartar Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped green onions or scallions (green part only)

2 tablespoons drained sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon drained capers (chopped, if large)

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Combine the clams with the milk, water and salt and let sit in the refrigerator for several hours.
  2. In a shallow baking dish, combine the semolina flour, instant flour and Essence.
  3. Drain the clams and dip in the flour mixture to coat and deep fry at about 365 degrees F until golden brown about 30 to 45 seconds. Be careful not to overcook.
  4. Drain on clean paper towels and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
  3. Published by William Morrow, 1993.

Tartar Sauce:

  1. In a bowl, fold together the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, giving the sauce 1 hour to stand before serving for the flavors to blend. (Note: If using homemade mayonnaise, the tartar sauce must be refrigerated and used within 24 hours.)