Geoduck, pronounced as “gooey duck,” is a sea-food delicacy that’s often hard to find in local grocery stores or seafood markets. The Geoduck is native to specific regions such as the Western coast of Canada or the Pacific Northwest.
According to reports, a pound of Geoduck can fetch anything between $150 to $300 in a high-end restaurant. It’s so valuable that even “gangsters” have opted to trade it instead of their usual narcotics.
However, beyond anything, the Geoduck has earned a reputation for being one of the weirdest looking seafood in the market (you are guaranteed to blush or marvel). But What does geoduck taste like? And the answer is,
It depends! Geoduck flesh can range in color from pale white to yellowish-brown, and its flavor can vary from sweet to mildly briny. Some say that geoduck tastes like a cross between an oyster and a cucumber. Others compare its flavor to that of a scallop or shrimp.
Moreover, if you are still unsure about the taste of geoduck and what it is. We’ll explain everything you need to know in this article with a section dedicated to how to prepare it. Read on to find out.
What Is Geoduck & What Does Geoduck Taste Like?
Contrary to popular belief, the Geoduck is not related to any duck. It is a salt-water clam with pretty simple anatomy; the neck & the mantle. The neck, or siphon, is usually long & hangs outside the shell.
The mantle, also known as the breast, is the meaty part of the Geoduck that sits inside the shell. The shell rarely grows beyond 8 “. However, the neck is pretty stretchy and can measure anything from an average-sized banana to a baseball bat.
As reiterated above, meat from Geoduck comes from two sections; the neck & the mantle. These two parts taste entirely different.
For starters, the neck part of the Geoduck is more white & tastes like Oysters with a hint of a “fishy” taste. The mantle, on the other hand, is a little more tender & richer in flavor. Both parts are crunchy when eaten raw but become chewy once cooked.
Compared to other Clams, Geoduck is considered to be crispier & superior without any of the usual fishy smell that most seafood has. You will love it on your first try & may even become a Geoduck regular.
Why Does Geoduck Look Like That?
Alright, there is no doubt that Geoducks are pretty intriguing to look at. It’s hard not to look at them and not think of the obvious. Their phallic appearance is similar to that of the male genitalia. We guarantee it’s one of the things that brought you here in the first place.
The name “Geoduck” actually originated from the Nisqually, a Native American tribe in Western Washington. The original term is “gweduc,” which translates to “dig deep.”
However, Geoducks don’t look like that for no reason at all. If you were to examine their necks closely, you would realize they have two tubes inside.
One tube is used to absorb water, planktons, vitamins, and minerals from the water. The other tube removes excess & unnecessary water or dirt.
Although these claims may look strange, we can promise you that the taste is further from strange. Therefore, don’t be so quick to judge them on their appearance.
How to Prepare a Geoduck Clam?
Now that you know what Geoduck is & and what it tastes like, you may want to prepare this seafood delicacy yourself. The process is so easy that even a beginner with no prior experience can do it. With that said, here is a step-by-step process on how to prepare Geoduck:
- Get a large pot & fill it with enough water to submerge the Geoduck in. You want to make sure that you boil the water first. Cover to make sure that the water boils even faster.
- Once the water is boiling, you want to take your Geoduck & submerge it into the water for around 10 seconds (branching). You may want to use a pair of tongs & some gloves to prevent yourself from getting burned.
- Once you remove it from the water, you want to make sure that you quickly dip it directly into ice-cold water. The ice-cold water helps stop the Geoduck from cooking.
- Once it’s cool enough to handle, remove it from the ice-cold water. Then, using a sharp knife, open the shell. Cut around the edges to ensure that you cut the muscle that holds the shelf in place. Use your fingers to pry it open. (Make sure to keep your gloves on for this, too, as some shells can be a little sharp). You can toss out the shell after as it’s not edible.
- Now, rinse the remaining Geoduck meat under cold water. You’ll notice that there is an outer membrane that’s covering the siphon. This part is inedible. Therefore, you want to grasp it with your fingers and pull it. It should easily slide off.
- Cut the siphon lengthwise (right down the middle) and then rinse it with cold water. Lay it onto a cutting board, slice off the tip and then clean it under running water again. That’s it! Your meat is now ready to be cooked.
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Can Geoduck Be Eaten Raw?
In the US, specifically the Pacific Northwest, Geoduck is served raw in salads or ceviche. In Japan, it’s commonly used in sushi or sashimi (raw fish dishes).
In Korea, you can find raw Geoduck being served raw with hot chili sauce or in stir fry dishes and soups. In China, it’s mostly referred to as “elephant trunk” and is primarily served in hot pots.
As you can see, a lot of different cultures consume Geoduck raw. Often, the neck/siphon is cut into small pieces, which you can serve as tartare. The narrower half of the neck is best sliced into long strips.
Is it safe to eat raw? Yes, the Washington Department of Health has tested Geoducks for harmful toxins & has found that Geoducks are perfectly safe for human consumption.
A lot of people love Geoduck for the fact that it has a crunchy, unique taste when it’s raw. You get a very specific kind of “snap” when you chew it.
Risks & Benefits of Eating Geoduck
Geoducks provide some excellent benefits for the human body as much as they do for the marine environment. Therefore, eating Geoducks has numerous health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved fertility for males through zinc & selenium.
- Loaded with plenty of proteins to assist in the formation of Red Blood Cells.
- It’s great for collagen synthesis.
- Perfect for your heart & thyroid health.
- They help reduce & regulate blood pressure.
- They are excellent sources of riboflavin & choline.
Some of the risks of eating Geoduck include the following:
- Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. This mostly depends on which region the Geoduck was fished from. The Washington State Health officials have tested Geoduck and claim that all Geoduck from Poverty Bay is safe for consumption.
- Risk of getting Norovirus from eating raw Geoduck. Geoducks filter most of the marine water to extract nutrients. Therefore, they may come across Norovirus particles that can remain trapped within their membrane. If ingested, this virus can cause food poisoning.
Geoduck is a seafood delicacy native to Asian cultures & people in regions such as the Pacific Northwest or the western coast of Canada. What does Geoduck taste like? It depends on the part you are eating or how it has been cooked. Often, it’s crunchy while raw and sweet, tender, & chewy when cooked.
Unlike clams or other types of seafood, Geoduck isn’t fishy. Seafood enthusiasts claim it has a better flavor & depth than a usual clam. Additionally, it’s easy to prepare. Even a beginner can do it. The best way to have it? As fresh as possible!