Make These Clam Cakes for the Fastest, Tastiest Way to Rhode Island

June 29, 2017

Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature. This one comes from Annaliese (Sagegreen), who first tasted crispy clam cakes at Rhode Island fairs. Here, she shares how to bring this summertime favorite to your kitchen.

I grew up on the coast of Rhode Island where our fairs always featured clam cakes. Crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy inside, we put them in a paper bag with sea salt gave them a good shake.

Basically what summer tastes like. Photo by James Ransom

While I grew up eating both New England and Manhattan-style clam chowders, clam cakes were a special treat I had to figure out on my own because my family didn’t typically fry food. In the fifth grade, I made my first batch of fritters while I was home alone—both shocking and delighting my family. Later, I experimented with combining corn with clams to make these hybrid cakes. They have a hint of sweetness—almost like a plain doughnut—that makes these so good on their own, but feel free to serve with butter pickles, cocktail sauce, or clam chowder.

For your clams, quahogs are best, but other hard shelled clams work well, too. This recipe is also great with just 1 cup of all fresh corn and 1 1/2 cups of plain milk, but would need 4 teaspoons of baking powder to compensate for the decreased acidity. For a vegetarian version, simply use 3/4 cup each of buttermilk and beer with 1 cup of corn.

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Lastly, you might want to keep your fan on and windows open. The hot oil cooks up the fritters quickly. I rarely do any deep frying, but this is my exception!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HalfPint
  • Connor Bower
    Connor Bower

Written by: Sagegreen


HalfPint June 30, 2017
I'm a CT-transplant living in California these days. Boy, do I miss seafood like this. For all the great foods in Cali, I totally miss clams, grinders, and pizza. I can't even find clam dip out here. I get strange looks whenever I ask about it.
Connor B. June 29, 2017
These were delicious! Can't wait to make them myself.