This recipe for Instant Pot clams has been a bit mobile. During COVID isolation, my blogging efforts have been in a state of transition. This recipe made the journey from my travel blog in an effort to better focus its content. Searching for a home for recipes, I started to create a food blog. But I realized that, while I like to post recipes or write from time to time, I don’t enjoy cooking and food photography enough to keep up a full-time food blog. So my recipes are finally resting here. Hopefully, this will their final home.
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On my travel blog, I had listed this as a “travel-inspired” recipe. What did inspire Instant Pot Clams Bordelaise?
I first started making wine steamed clams after falling in love with mixed shellfish steamed in wine at a French restaurant named Le Gavroche in Vancouver. That restaurant is now, unfortunately, no more. Then, I found a recipe for Clams Bordelaise in The Frugal Gourmet Cookbook by Jeff Smith and started playing around with it. So, in a way, this recipe is inspired by both the Pacific Northwest and French cuisine.
It’s easy to steam clams in wine; it’s even quicker and easier using an Instant Pot. Clams, mussels, or other shellfish work equally well in this recipe. Serve it up with some crusty bread (see my recipe here), a good salad, and, of course, some wine! 1
On to the Recipe for Instant Pot Clams (or Instant Pot Mussels):
Instant Pot Clams Bordelaise (and Mussels, too!)
- Instant Pot
- 3 lbs clams …or mussels, or mixture of clams and mussels (my preference)
- 5 cloves garlic minced. Can be reduced or omitted, to taste
- 2 shallots medium to large
- .25 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup dry white wine Chardonnay is my fave. Drink the rest!
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste, can be omitted
- 3 tbsp butter also can be omitted — I like to add this for a more buttery texture
How to Make It
Before You Cook
- If you are using mussels, they must be debearded. To to this, pull that gross stuff firmly toward the pointy end of the mussel.
- If you are using clams, you can clean them and get them to spit out any sandy stuff they're holding on to by putting them in a bowl with heavily salted water.
- Mince your garlic, chop your shallots, take a sip of wine, and get ready to cook!
- Turn the Instant Pot on to saute. Heat up the olive oil and butter, then add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently to cook evenly, until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. If you want to add red pepper, add some toward the end of the cooking.
- Add the white wine and keep sauteing until the wine is reduced by half or so.
- Add the shellfish, put the lid on the Instant Pot, and set it to cook on High for one minute.
- When the Instant Pot is finished, do a quick release, then open the pot. All of the shellfish should be open. If not, put the lid on, set it to saute and let it steam a bit longer.
- Serve up the shellfish, spoon over the liquid and serve with some crusty bread, salad, and wine.
If You Don't Have an Instant Pot:
- Well…get one! Just kidding. This is easy enough to make in a large lidded pot on the stove. Saute all of your ingredients as above, then add your shellfish, reduce the heat, and let it steam on the stovetop for about 10 minutes or so, until all of the shellfish have opened.
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- Though I’m not drinking wine again now and trying to transition back to a vegetarian diet so I may not be making this in the future.