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Buttermilk Fried Clam Roll with Spicy Pickle Dressing

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 8 hr 35 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 rolls
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Clams and Peppers:

8 ounces fresh clam bellies

1/2 cup pickled peppers, such as B and G, sliced

1 cup buttermilk 


1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Japanese, such as Kewpie

1/4 cup drained pickles, chopped 

1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice 

1 tablespoon chopped capers 

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

2 quarts neutral oil, for frying 

1 cup fine cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 teaspoon Spanish paprika 

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

4 hot dog buns or brioche long rolls 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. For the clams and peppers: Put the clam bellies and peppers in a bowl, add the buttermilk and let soak, refrigerated, for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. For the sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, pickles, lemon juice, capers and parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. For the sandwiches: In a bowl, toss the shredded lettuce with the vinegar and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large, deep, straight-sided pot until a deep-frying thermometer registers 360 degrees F. Line a plate with paper towels.
  5. Combine the cornmeal, flour, Parmesan, garlic powder and paprika in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the clam bellies and peppers out of the buttermilk, leaving the excess behind. Toss in the flour-cheese mixture to evenly coat.
  7. Fry the clams and peppers in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on the towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt and pepper.
  8. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Slice the buns in half lengthwise and butter the cut sides. Cook the buns butter-side down until toasted.
  9. Spread the sauce on both sides of the buns and top with lettuce, fried clam bellies and peppers.
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