Clams are a soft, moist mollusk that can be eaten raw or cooked using various methods. Since clams are filter feeders, they will absorb pretty much whatever is in the water around them, so it is recommended that you cook them in order to destroy any bacteria or toxins that they may have picked up. Either steam your clams in the shell, discarding any that do not open, or go ahead and shell a clam yourself with the use of one of these fine kitchen knives. Clam knives have a blunt, rounded tip and a flat blade that can be up to 5 inches long, though a shorter blade offers the most control.
To open a clam shell, you will need a special professional chef knife with a blunt, rigid blade. Start by holding the knife parallel to the clam shell opening. Cut into the clam using your thumb and fingers to hold the clam securely while guiding the blade. Keep pressing the knife into the opening as far as it will go. Once the muscle holding the shell shut has been severed, twist the knife so the blade pries the shell open. Use your fingers to force the shell open wider while forcing the blade further along the shell. Once you have enough leverage, pull and twist the top of the shell off. Finally, use the knife to scoop along the shell to remove any muscles and dump the clam meat and juice into a bowl.