Every step I take to get littleneck clams clean inside and out.
30 gramssaltby weight. If measuring, use about 2 tbsp
1000gramscold waterby weight. If measuring, use about 1 liter
Bring the clams back from the store sitting on ice, if possible. If you're not cooking them right away, store them in the refrigerator sitting on ice, in an open container, so they don't suffocate, for no more than one day.
Rinse the outsides of the clams to get rid of any excess sand.
Under cold running water, use a brush or stiff paper towel to lightly scrub the outsides of the shells.
In a bowl, whisk to dissolve the salt into the cold water.
Add the cleaned clams to the bowl, making sure they are submerged.
Let sit for 2-3 hours, until you can see that a significant amount of grit has been purged. I leave the clams in a cool place, at room temperature of about 70 to 72 degrees, but you can also store them in the fridge.
Give the clams a final rinse before cooking, then cook as desired. I steam them using a steamer basket for just a few minutes, until they open. When they are fully open, they are done. Enjoy!
The maximum time I've soaked the clams is 4 hours. It's possible you can soak longer than this, even overnight, but I know that eventually the clams can die if there's not enough oxygen in the water, so I like to be a bit more conservative. If you want to store the clams, it's best to do it on ice in the fridge before soaking.