All about Fresh clams

Fresh clams are not the easiest to find in the midwest.  Yet it’s important to note that even though we are located in the Midwest, Catch 35 offers some of the freshest seafood from the coastal waters of the United States. We are able to do this because we have maintained high standards for the last 25 years and with our close relationship with coastal fisherman and purveyors. Whole fish are flown in daily and cut into filets as well as shellfish like clams, oysters, and scallops.   Our menu changes with the availability of fresh and premium seafood. Currently, Catch 35 will be adding an East coast favorite to the menu fresh clams. If you haven’t tried fresh clams yet I hope to give you a few reasons to at Catch 35 Chicago and Naperville.

First of all, clams are a mollusk. Their flavor profile consists of a mild sweetness with crisp briny accents. The clam is most visible in chowders, pastas, and fritters.

Secondly, fresh clams are a delectable treat in most of the world. There are a variety of different clams in the ocean. Countries around the world have embraced the clam and have incorporated them into their daily diets.

Thirdly, a variety of edible fresh clams are available. But the question you might be asking yourself is “Which should I eat and how should I eat them?”

So let’s take a closer look at a few of the clam varieties and maybe pursue a few of these options at Catch 35, fresh seafood and premium steaks!

Manila clams

-Native to the waters from China to Siberia, but also abundant from British Columbia to Central California.

-Sustainable when farmed in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.

-Tender with a mild sweet flavor.

-Have an elongated oval shell with radiating ribs. They can be gray, green, yellow, or brown; but frequently patchy with a variety of these colors.

-Most Manila clams are steamed. Because they tend to be less salty than other clams, you can pair them with some crispy pancetta or chorizo to kick them up a notch.


-also known as littleneck clams, cherrystone clam, topnecks, chowder clam depending upon their size.

-Native to the east coast waters from Canada to Florida.

-Tender meats with a mildy sweet flavor and briny accents.

-Quahogs can be used in chowders, stuffed, baked, steamed, you name it.

-This versatile clam is probably the clam you are most familiar with. 


-The king of the clams.

-Also know as the elephant trunk due to its shape.

-The geoduck is sweet with a mild brininess; however, its flesh is crunchy and firm.

-Cooking techniques vary depending on the chef’s skill and familiarity with the geoduck clam.  Some top chefs create a sashimi with the geoduck or a chowder.  It can be blanched or stir-fried to create a different texture as well.


-Available in the waters on both the east and west coasts of the United States.

-Firm texture, mild brininess, mild clam flavor.

-Razor clams are usually diced or ground into chowders, fritters, or beer battered and fried.

Lastly, how does Catch 35 celebrate fresh clams.

Catch 35 uses Quahog that mildly sweet to enjoy in our creamy and comforting New England Chowder.

fresh clams

Our chef lightly tosses Quahog strips in corn flour and spices; fried until crispy and devoured with a spicy mayo.

fresh clams-clam strips

Due to the subtle brininess of the Manila clam, our chefs at Catch 35 enhance the flavors of the clam with pork chorizo, hints of orange, and kale.

Fennel offers up a faint licorice flavor but when roasted it becomes sweet. The aromas alone on this dish are mouthwatering.

So join us at Catch 35, fresh seafood and premium steak restaurant, with locations in Chicago and Naperville, for the ultimate fresh clam dinner. You can always start off with our New England Chowder and then venture into our steamed Manila clam and fennel appetizer, and finish with crispy chorizo and manila clam spaghetti. Whether you need a night out or just a casual dinner, Catch 35 is your fresh seafood destination. See you there!