Best Gluten-Free Fried Clams and Chips

Jun 8, 2020 | Fish and Seafood, Recipes

Clams and Chips are one of those things that I don’t eat too often but every once in a while I get a very serious craving for them. This craving hit me late last week. Having to eat gluten-free makes it difficult to buy them in most restaurants (Check out Evans Seafood in Dartmouth) or even the prepared ones at the grocery store, so, I made them myself and you can too. Of course, you don’t have to make these gluten-free but know that you can very easily.

Okay, let’s get right into it. This is how to make…

Homemade Fried Clams and Chips (Gluten-Free)


I used a deep fryer to make this meal, however, you can just as easily make it in a deep pot. If you are going to make them in a pot you will want a candy/deep-frying thermometer to keep track of the temperature of the oil. I should also say that my wife hates the smell of deep-fryer in the house so I ran an extension cord outside and deep-fried right on the back deck. If you are using a pot, you can do this outside on the burner of your barbecue, or even on a separate butane burner or something like that. If you do decide to do this outside make sure there is no rain in the forecast because getting water in hot oil equals bad news.

Homemade French Fries

If you have never made homemade French Fries you may be under the impression that they are difficult to make. They are not. The basic process is to cut up the potatoes, soak them in water, drain them really well, fry them on a low heat until they soften, drain them and let the cool, then fry them on a higher heat until they are golden brown and crispy. The last step is to drain the oil, toss the fries with salt, and enjoy!

Cutting the potatoes

First of all, I prefer to use Russet potatoes (or Idaho) for making French Fries, that’s what I recommend you use. Now, what is really important to remember when you are cutting the potatoes is that how they are cut doesn’t really matter as long as they are all about the same size. If you have some fries cut very big and some cut very small they aren’t going to cook evenly. I can tell you that no matter what you do, you are going to get some small ones and some big ones. Don’t beat yourself up over this, just try to prevent this as much as possible.

I find the easiest way to cut the potatoes is to cut off one slice the thickness you want the fries to be. Then use this first cut to rest the potato flat on the cutting board, this will make all the other cuts easier. Now slice the rest of the potato the same thickness of the first slice. Once the potato is all sliced go back and cut those slices into fries the same width. Ideally, you should have fries with relatively square sides. Again, don’t beat yourself up if they aren’t perfect. No one is going to care.

Soaking the potatoes

Once the potatoes are cut they need to be soaked in water to remove the excess starch. It is best to let the potatoes soak for at least an hour. I generally prefer to just use room temperature water to soak the potatoes as cold water will start to convert some of the starch to sugar and will cause the potatoes to darken quicker than they normally would. Once soaked, drain the potatoes and pat them dry on a clean kitchen towel.

Blanching the potaotes

Blanching refers to the first fry of the potatoes. This initial fry is done at a relatively low temperature of 300°F. This temperature isn’t hot enough to brown the potatoes but it is enough to cook them through which is the purpose of this. We want to cook the potatoes through to soften the middles. That way when we fry them again on a higher temperature we are only really concerned with browning and crisping the fries.

Depending on the size of your fryer, or pot, you are likely going to have to do this in batches. If you overload the oil, you are going to drop the temperature too much and you will end up with soggy greasy fries. No one wants that. It’s hard to say exactly how many fries are too many. I would say to blanch them a third of a batch at a time. That should keep the oil at the proper temperature. Also, remember to let the oil come back up to the proper temperature before switching batches.

Once one batch of fries is blanched (this should take about 5 minutes. The fries will look wrinkly and will be easy to cut through) drain them in the fryer basket or a colander, then lay them out on a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel to cool. (I forgot to get a picture of them after they were blanched)

Frying the potatoes

The fries have been blanched and cooled, all that is left to do is to fry them one last time. Turn the temperature of the oil up to 350°F, and again, fry the potatoes in batches so as not to cool the oil too much. Fry the potaotes for about 5 minutes or under golden brown and crisp. Remove them from the oil and drain off any excess, then toss in a metal bowl with a pinch of kosher or sea salt.

If you would prefer not to deep-fry the French fries you can check out this Instagram post I did a while ago about crispy oven-baked fries. You won’t believe how good they are.

Fried Clams

The Clams

Typically, when people make fried clams they use raw clams, removed from their shells. These clams are then tossed in flour, breadcrumbs, or cornmeal and deep-fried. At this moment in time, with the current, but hopefully soon ending, pandemic, I am finding it difficult to find fresh seafood at the grocery store. However, as I was walking down the grocery store aisle I saw a bag of pre-cooked frozen clams and decided to give it a try. I assumed that this would lead to extra chewy fried clams but I had a craving that needed to be satisfied so I went with it anyway.

To defrost the frozen and cooked clams I put them in cold water and then drained well. I patted them dry on a towel, tossed them with my breading (I’ll talk about this in a second) and fried them in two batches on 350°F until they were golden brown and crispy which took about 5-7 minutes. Once they were ready, I drained them and tossed them with a little salt. That was it.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find that these weren’t actually chewy at all. Often, even when using fresh clams, they end up like little pieces of rubber, these we’re not like that. They were tender and delicious.

The breading

It may surprise you to learn that my favourite breading for clams and for calamari is actually pancake mix. I use the dry mix to toss the clams into, then fry. There is a slight sweetness to the batter mix that really compliments the seafood. All I add to the mix is a little salt and pepper, that’s it. I used a gluten-free pancake mix from Kinnikinnick, but you can use any mix you prefer. Of course, you can just use flour, but I like this way a lot better. Try it for yourself.

Serving the Clams and Chips

To serve the clams and chips I made a really simple tartar sauce by combining 1/4 cup mayo with 1 tbsp mustard and 1dill pickle cut into small pieces. Like I said, a very simple tartar sauce. Along with this, I put some ketchup and hot sauce on the table and a cold bubbly drink. What a great meal for a sunny afternoon!

Have a great Monday everyone and remember to share and subscribe so you never miss a post again.


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