Monday, July 18, 2011

A Geoduck walks into a bar...


I have to say that sometimes even *I* think I have gone off the deep end. So when the Nudie Foodies site mentioned winning a Geoduck I raised my hand. What was I thinking? I was thinking that it would be fun to have a Geoduck delivered to me in the mail. I was thinking that maybe they tasted good. I was thinking that it would be a hysterical picture of me holding this really obscene looking mollusk. Maybe I wasn't thinking at all.

So imagine my surprise when Salty Seattle wrote me to tell me that *I* had won. I have to say that I was in shock. I didn't really expect to win it. So, now to break the news to Dr. Food.

Me: "Honey, I won a Geoduck and I sorta have to pose with it for a picture and cook something with it"

Dr Food: Oh, I could tell you had something to tell me. THAT was it?

Me: Yep. I am sorry.

So, the Geoduck arrived. My heart started beating faster, my palms got sweaty, I tweeted to my seafood peeps about my new acquisition. I searched the internet for recipes. I thought of poses that wouldn't make my family disown me if they ever saw the picture of me with the Geoduck. I thought of pictures that would not get me fired from my job. I started to worry. I am old. I really shouldn't be doing this. Then something came to mind. Something that I always think of when I think "I shouldn't do that"... why not? Why not have fun? Why not keep an open mind and trying something new?

Ok, so the geoduck arrived and I ripped open the box. Inside was a well wraped geoduck. I unwrapped and this is what I found.


It didn't take long to think that maybe I was out of my league. Self doubt started taking over and I had to talk myself down:

Inside Me: You are a complete idiot. What made you do this? Are you so needy that you have to resort to Geoducks for attention?

Outside Me: Shut up shut up shut up {fingers in ears}

Inside Me: You idiot, you can still hear me because I am the inside of your brain. What made you do this?

Outside Me: I dunno, I am an idiot.


So, this in no way is my fault that this Mollusk looks like this. Hell, I have handled many disgusting things up until now and haven't been embarrassed to share. This one was a bit rough.


So the moment of truth came when I decided to start cutting Mr Geo up for dinner. First words out of my mouth to Dr Food were "Honey, can you make me a Manhattan?"

(some images my appear smaller than in real life)

I started to follow the instructions that I found on the Internet. My pal on Twitter (Thanks Jon) tried to talk me through it. Also I want to stop here and thank my new BFF Marx Foods for giving me my new friend "Geo". Justin you are the best! You really are. Last but not least I love you Linda. You always make me laugh. You are the Saltiest. I mean that in a loving way.


So the instructions were to cut away shell on either side of the um..."Siphon thingy" This was easy to do.


Ooops blurry there. Taking pictures was the least of my problems or maybe it was the "liquid courage" that made for a blurry snapshot.


I loved how this looked. I kept saying to Dr. Food "Is it edible"? He kept saying "Don't know". I kept saying "You think we should eat it"? He kept saying "I don't know". I finally stuck me finger in it and when green bile came out I took that as my answer.


So here we had the meat. BUT WAIT! There is more...


We dunked in hot water for 10 seconds and then ice water so that the um...cover thingy, skin? came off.


This is what we had to work with.


To my complete surprise this piece of seafood amazed me. It had the sweetest most clean ocean smell that I have ever smelled in seafood. Floods of emotion from memories flashing through my head. Made me practically tear up. I am being completely serious here. You see, the beach was a huge part of my life. So was fishing with my family and well, lots of things. Ok, didn't mean to get emotional and all serious. Afterall we are talking about seafood that looks like a penis.


This is what it came down to. I was off and running and ready to cook. At this point I was excited to be eating this. I was told that the siphon could be eaten as sashimi (known as mirugai in sushi bars). I would have had no problem with that but Dr. Food and I decided that it might be best to try this in a sushi bar).


So out into the garden for a little thyme.


Just call me "Edward Potato Hands" I grate potatoes at lightening speed.


Mixed with green onions and some horseradish, dijon mustard, sour cream.


Brown it up and there you have it. Geoduck Hash. It was amazing. It makes me crave another Geoduck. Maybe if I do something else obnoxious and crazy someone will give me another one. It is my new favorite food.


The recipe that I decided to make wasn't something that I created. I didn't want to mess around with an ingredient that was so "special" and that I didn't know what it taste like. I kept it simple for my first experience.

and finally...

To Annie: I am sorry that I sent you that picture of me with the Geoduck. Mommy didn't mean to scar you for life. I didn't post it.

Geoduck Hash

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1 t. dried thyme
1 1/2 cups coarsely ground geoduck meat
1 cup sliced green onions, including some of the green
1/2 cup mixed chopped bell peppers
3 cups peeled, coarsely grated russet potatoes
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Slivered green onion, minced cilantro and lemon wedges, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, mustard, horseradish, salt and pepper, lemon zest and thyme; mix until evenly combined.
2. Add clams, green onions, bell pepper and potatoes. Stir mixture until all ingredients are lightly coated with the sour cream mixture.
3. Add the olive oil to a heated, large nonstick skillet. Add the hash to the pan, cover and cook over med. heat for 7-10 min, or until hash begins to brown on the bottom.
4. Turn it over. Cook, uncovered, on the second side until browned on the bottom, 5-7 min.
5. Turn hash out onto serving platter, garnish with minced cilantro and slivers of onion and put lemon wedges around edge.
Ashley's Recommendations: You can make smaller individual hash cakes also, which are easier to flip and serve.

Printable Version


  1. loved reading this, you are super duper courageous! and no, it is not your fault the geoduck looks like...ahem. you did a great job with this recipe, and seriously, the hash looks delicious!

  2. You need to find the Dirty Jobs episode where Mike Rowe gets up close and personal with geoduck (it's even better when people understand that it's pronounced gooey-duck, not geo). I was laughing so hard I just about peed my pants. Your reaction brought that all back (and had me laughing again). 

    Congrats on winning and on finding such a perfect recipe for it!

  3. I am super duper jealous. Geoduck is one of my favorite things on earth, and it's so hard to get a hold of here. 

  4. Believe me I will be pining for another one.  It is now one of my favorite things on earth.  You are closer to Washington State than *I* am.

  5. It is indeed pronounced GOOEY Duck for good reason.

  6. So funny, I had the same thought through my head and almost entered but decided not too.  Though I do love geoduck, it is delicious but not sure I could pose with it.  So glad you were able to and can't wait to see your nudie foodie picture.

  7. You are one brave soul!  I would have loved to have been there every step of the way, especially for the eating! 

  8. You did an amazing, admirable job, Janis- the nudie foodies are so proud. That looks like about the best way to prepare geoduck I've seen- was it still overly chewy? Just in case anyone's curious, Janis' geoduck nudie picture is now up over at the NF website:

  9. You are a brave one, yes you are. I love your "nudie foodies" photo as well. Sums you up perfectly!! :-)

  10. Food p0rn at its best.  Great post and recipe.

    Lisa~~ Cook Lisa Cook

  11. Haha! You cracked me up. I'm sure anyone passing by my window thought "what the hell could be that funny?" If only they knew. This takes food porn to a whole new level. Slightly disturbing yet still intrigued. Just the laugh I needed for a Wednesday morning! 

  12. Disturbing but intrigued.  I like that!

  13. Not chewy at all!

  14. I really don't know about this....I'd forgotten what they looked like, I wanted a cute Geo quacky type of duck, you're a brave woman! Glad it tasted good in the end.

  15. I've never had Geoduck before, but have seen it on Top Chef and whatnot.  Definitely going to have to invest in one - if not just for the giggle factor =)

  16. I was first introduced to the Geoduck in one of my first biology classes in college.  It was sitting in formaldehyde in a jar in one of the lab rooms.  Then, I saw it again one day on "Will Work for Food" with Adam Gertler.  I'm glad the experienced worked out for you.  Those convos you were having with your head were making me nervous.  I hope that all the seasonings and creaminess didn't take away from the Geoduck flavor by masking it up :-)

  17. Geoduck is a staple on the Foodnetwork.  It's geoduck this and geoduck that all the time.  I gotta say, Sis, the pictures are obscene.  What would Freud say, "Yum, geoduck"? I think not!  I won't tell Mom.

  18. Janis, this is the most comprehensive thing I've ever read about geoducks. But oh my! You are a braver woman than I! :D Could never manage it myself. Eeeww.

  19. Ha!!! I litterally laughed out loud with the whole removing the "cover thingy, skin" Great job, you are a brave woman.

  20. Great idea! It has always looked so intimidating to cook with this, and if I could get past the phalic nature of it, well, hash would do

  21. Funny as always. I don't think I had one of these before so I am intrigued by your taste impressions. Something for the list.