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Use your microwave to steam clams or mussels with this basic recipe. Add your favorite herbs and/or seasonings.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 dozen clams or 3/4 to 1 pound mussels, scrubbed well
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Herbs and other seasonings to taste


Arrange the clams or mussels around the outer rim of a 10- to 12-inch shallow round microwaveproof dish, leaving the center open. Cover tightly and cook on HIGH (100%) for 2-1/2 to 5 minutes, or until all the shells have opened, rotating the dish once in the middle of cooking time if necessary. Serve with melted butter, lemon wedges, and/or herbs and seasonings, and the broth from the cooking.

NOTE: To double: The most efficient way to double clams and mussels is in 2 separate batches. Put in another plate while people begin eating and you won't miss a beat. Mussels will open faster than clams because the muscles fastening them shut are smaller than the clams'. However, because mussels are often meatier and larger than clams, they may take a little longer to cook once the shell is opened. A glass cover and casserole will allow you to watch as they open up.

Yield: 1 serving as a main course, 2 as a first course

Recipe Source: Mastering Microwave Cookery by Marcia Cone and Thelma Snyder (Simon & Schuster)
Reprinted with permission.

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