What is it?

Given the spelling, one might think a geoduck is some kind of bird but in fact it’s probably the furthest thing world from our fine feathered friends. A geoduck is a large (very large) clam that is native to the waters on the Pacific coasts of Canada and the United States.It is the largest burrowing clam in the world and including its shell, it averages a little bit over two pounds when it reaches maturity at the age of fifteen. In 2000, a specimen weighing over eight pounds was dug up at someplace called Discover Bay located in the state of Washington. It is possibly the longest living animal in the world with some specimens living as long as 168 years.

How do I pronounce “geoduck”?

The correct pronunciation is gooey-duck. According to Wikipedia the word is derived from the Lushootseed language which was spoken by Native Americans that lived along the Northwest Coast. Although the exact etymology is unknown the word itself has connotations to the word “genitals” in English or it means to “dig deep” in order to try and find it.

What does it look like?

Many of us are probably familiar with the term “hung like a horse” which is used to describe a certain part of the male anatomy. Maybe that should be changed to ”hunglike a geoduck”

For starters, it certainly doesn’t resemble any kind of clam you’ll find at the grocery store or at your local fishmonger. Like its distant relative, the piss clam, it does have a siphon that extends from its shell that it uses in order to gather food. However, the geoduck siphon would put any piss clam to shame. It can extend to over three feet in length.

Do geoducks make good pets?

I don't know how you would go about training a geoduck to any kind of tricks or anything. I guess it just lays there. To illustrate my point, here’s a picture of a young child "frolicking" with his or her pet geoduck.

If you bothered to click on that link, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “how cute is that” right about now.

How does a geoduck make baby geoducks?

Glad you asked. When two consenting geoducks find the moment is right….

Just kidding, geoducks are what is known as broadcast spawners and a female geoduck will release approximately five billion eggs during her lifetime.

Am I a geoduck?

While some members of the male species might like to think their "manhood" resembles a geoduck, chances are, if you’re reading this, no you are not a geoduck. When asked this very question, one of my sources has this to say ;

” As far as I know, no real geoducks have yet made it on-line. This is a pity, since, despite their lack of a brain, they probably would be more coherent and rational than many of the individuals who currently post their 'thoughts' to the world.”

Can I eat a geoduck?

Despite their unappetizing appearance, yes you can eat a geoduck. Although not very popular stateside, geoducks are very popular in (where else) China and Japan where they are regarded as some kind of aphrodisiac and can fetch upwards of $150.00 a pound.

Personally, I’ve never eaten a geoduck and since I reside in the Midwest I don’t know where I could lay my hands on one even if I wanted to. Thanks to the magic of the internet, here’s a recipe you might want to try if you feel so inclined.

Sautéed Geoduck Japanese Style

Here’s what you need

  • four dried shiitake mushrooms
  • one half a cup of boiling water
  • one live geoduck (like most members of the clam family, eating geoducks that are already dead is not a good idea)
  • one quarter cup of flour
  • three tablespoons of butter
  • four cups of baby spinach
  • two tablespoons of sake
  • one tablespoon of soy sauce
  • one green onion, sliced
  • Here’s what you do

    Using the boiling water, reconstitute the shiitake mushrooms. This should take about five or so minutes. Once they’re cooled down, remove the stems and discard them. Thinly slice the mushrooms and reserve the liquid from the reconstituting process.

    Now get your geoduck and clean it. This sounds simple enough but from what I’ve read, it sounds like a pain in the ass.

    First you have to remove the siphon since that’s the part you’ll be eating. Get a paring knife and cut along both sides of the shell. Once that’s done, cut the siphon off at the base of the shell and remove it. Toss the shell and all of the remaining gunk it contains in the trash.

    Bring a pot of water to a simmer but not a full boil and submerge the geoduck for about 10 seconds. If the geoduck didn’t die when you removed from the shell, this will ensure that it is dead. Pay your last respects and then peel the outer coating from the siphon and toss that too.

    Slice the siphon down the middle and remove any sand, grit or anything else that looks suspicious. Then, cut the siphon into very thin slices and you’ll be good to go.

    Next dredge the geoduck slices in the flour. In a frying pan or wok, melt the butter and sear the geoduck until it looks golden brown. This should take about two minutes. Then add the mushrooms, spinach, soy sauce and sake and let it cook for another minute or so.

    Remove the mixture with a slotted spoon and then add the water that you saved from the mushrooms as well as the green onions. Let that cook for another minute or so until the flavors are blended and pour it over the sliced geoduck.

    If you want to get fancy, you can try serving this over stir fried noodles.

    That’s it folks, like I said, I’ve never had the opportunity to eat a geoduck and would be interested to know if any of our users can provide some personal thoughts on the matter.