Frank Lee's Clam Hash Recipe | A Chef's Life | PBS Food

Frank Lee’s Clam Hash

My family vacationed at Pawleys Island starting in the early 1930’s. My great Aunt Arnie Robinson Childs had a beachfront home in the 50’s called appropriately “the A.R.C.” towards the north end of the island. She had a Gullah cook for over 25 years named Daisy Smalls. Daisy was a wonderful person and everything she cooked went straight to my soul. It was Daisy who turned the clams we would catch into this humble but delicious hash. The recipe is more method than amounts. So in honor of Daisy Smalls I offer you my interpretation of her clam hash. -- Frank Lee

This clam hash recipe is featured in the Gone Clamming, Part I episode of Season 3 of A Chef's Life.



  • 12-16 medium to large clams (shells scrubbed, shucked raw, cleaned of muddy sack, chopped)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 6-8 saltine crackers
  • 2 large tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Soak clams in icy water. Scrub the shells and clean the clams of any muddy parts.
  2. Over a large bowl, shuck the clams (NOTE: I use a sharp knife and hand protection for this step).
  3. Separate the clams from the liquid. Be sure to remove any little pieces of shell from the shucking. Strain and reserve remaining juice to remove shell and grit. Save liquid. Chop the clams.
  4. Cook the bacon crisp in a large skillet (I like a 9-10” Cast iron) – remove, reserve bacon. Pour off most of the fat and add the onion, cook until tender.
  5. Add the chopped clams and the juice. Bring to a quick simmer.
  6. Crumble the saltines in the hash to thicken – remove from heat.
  7. Just before serving, add the chopped parsley and crumble the bacon on top. Daisy would serve the hash over stone ground whole grits with soft scrambled eggs and sliced tomato.
Presented by: