Stovetop Clambake

Photo: Raymond Hom
6 to 8 Serves

Lobster, clams, shrimp, and chorizo star in this classic clambake that cooks indoors on the stovetop in a large stockpot. Adding the ingredients in the right order is the secret to this recipe's success; the ones that take longest to cook go in first—and the whole meal is ready in just over half an hour.


  • 2 large or 3 medium onions, cut into large wedges

  • 6 garlic cloves

  • 1 bottle pale ale or medium-bodied beer

  • 1 cup water

  • Fresh seaweed, well rinsed, for layering (optional)

  • 1 ½ pounds small new potatoes (white, red, or a combination)

  • 1 pound hot dried chorizo, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • Coarse salt

  • 3 lobsters (1 ½ pounds each)

  • 36 littleneck clams, scrubbed well

  • 4 ears corn, husked and halved

  • 2 pounds mussels, debearded and scrubbed well

  • 1 ½ pounds large shrimp (about 30), shell-on

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

  • 2 lemons, halved


  1. Combine onions, garlic, pale ale, and water in a 16-quart stockpot. Cover with a layer of seaweed (or place a steamer basket on top of onions). Add potatoes, chorizo, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add lobsters; cook over high heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Add clams and corn; cook, covered, for 6 minutes. Add mussels and shrimp; cook, covered, until clams and mussels open and shrimp are cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes.

  2. Remove seafood, corn, potatoes, and chorizo using tongs, and transfer to large platters or rimmed baking sheets. Discard seaweed and any unopened clams and mussels. Strain liquid through a sieve into a bowl; add butter, swirling to melt. Squeeze lemons over clambake.

Cook's Notes

The optional layer of seaweed (available from most fishmongers) imparts a salty ocean essence and keeps the potatoes off the bottom of the pot.

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