Clam based dishes are a very popular way to eat seafood. Clam dishes are so versatile, good for any season and most people (if not all) at the table will love them! From simple steamed clams, to clam chowder, to clam broths and soups, there is just so much you can do with the delicious mild tasting seafood delight.
There are many forms of clams used in cooking, all which have their own substitutes. Actual clams themselves are hard to match, however you can replace them with mussels or oysters. For vegan or vegetarian options, mushrooms are commonly used in vegan “clam” chowders.
There aren’t a whole lot of options for replacing the actual clams in a dish, however there are a few things you can consider and there are even some vegan and vegetarian options as well.
Mussels have the closest flavor to clams and they easily fit into any soup or pasta dish that calls for clams. People often say that clams have a stronger flavor than mussels, but they are very similar otherwise. You can add something like flash sauce to your mussels when you are placing clams with them to give your mussels a more fishy flavor.
Oysters also are very similar to clams. You can even replace clams with oysters in clam chowder in a pinch, or in any soup or noodle dish. Oysters, again, are a little more mild than clams. They tend to be a little less salty and may not have that very fishy flavor you are looking for. First add them to your dish to decide what you think is best, then you can add something like fish sauce or dashi to give your oysters a little extra punch.
3. King Oyster Mushrooms
There is a process to making a dish with king oysters mushrooms, but they are the best and healthiest vegan or vegetarian option for replacing clams. Alone, king oyster mushrooms already have a slight fish flavor (hence their name), although it is very mild. They have a wonderful earthy flavor and texture and are so easy to mix with any dish.
Whether you can’t find or don’t have any clams, or maybe you just hate them! Don’t worry, because there are so many other things you can use to replace them in whatever dish you are making.