Oyster Clam Chowder

Source: Whitney Otawka, author of The Saltwater Table

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe, featuring Hog Island Oyster Co., was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on November 16, 2019.                                               

Serves 4


½ cup butter 
2 shallots, minced 
3 ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup) 
1 fennel bulb, diced (about 1 cup) 
2 small leeks, diced (about 1 cup) 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 cups peeled and diced red potatoes 
½ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2½ cups clam juice, reserved from steaming clams and extra as needed (see note)
30 steamed clams
16 oysters, shucked
1 cup heavy cream 
Zest of ½ lemon 
3 dashes of Tabasco sauce 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh chives 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley 
1 teaspoon chili flakes 


In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, celery, fennel, leeks, garlic, and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the wine. Reduce for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf and clam juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped clams, oysters, cream, lemon zest, and Tabasco sauce. Simmer for 1 minute.

Taste for seasoning, as clams will have varying degrees of salinity.

Ladle into bowls and top with chives, parsley, and a pinch of chile flakes. 

NOTE: Your steamed clams will not yield enough liquid. Plan to have at least 1½ cups bottled clam juice on hand.


Steamed Clams

Makes about 30 clams


½ cup white wine 
2½ pounds littleneck clams (about 30)


In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the wine and ½ cup of water and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and cover the pot. Steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and pick out any opened clams.

If any clams remain closed, cover and continue to steam, regularly checking and removing any opened clams until all have been steamed. Discard any that refuse to open. Strain the cooking liquid and set aside for chowder. 

When the clams are cool to the touch, remove the meat and discard the shells. Roughly chop the meat and set aside for chowder. 

Photo by Kora Vandervall.

Farmers Market Ingredients