The solen, or some other names as “razor clam”, or “Sabre”, “Sea fingernail”, “Qingzi”. is of Mollusca and solenidae. The edible solens always are three kinds: Solen grandis, Solen gouldii and Sinono-vacula constricta. The solen and oyster, clam and arca inflate are as known as the 4 economic shellfish. The Chinese medicine believes the solen meat has sweet and salty taste, cold in nature, with quality of yin tonics, reducing fever, relieving restlessness.
1． Solen grandis: it’s the specialty product along Nantong sea coast, the shell of this solen is very thin and bamboo shaped, as long as up to 15 cm. The meat of this solen is chubby and tasty, full of amino acid and succinic acid, so delicious and is deemed as the best among the solen group. Xie Yong of Qing Dyansty said in his “Delicious Solen” that the Solen is comparable to Coilia ectenes in its deliciousness, it looks like jade with glossy silver color and is even unforgettable after 30 years since he tasted solen. The solen in Nantong is served in the menu name of “Fried Razor Clam”, “Quick Fried Solen”.
2． The solen: its shell is thin and brittle, in long bamboo shape, looks like two bamboo pieces, thus the name comes. The color of the solen is yellowish with coppery speckle. The meat is white and always extended out of the shell. The meat is chubby, crisp and tender, full of protein, fat and calcium, iron, and phosphate. Rich in nutrition, the solen is suitable for steaming, frying and boiling. In such cuisines as in name of “Stewed Dry Solen” , “Imperial concubine in bath(solen in milky soup)” and “Female celestial Tooth Gum(Egg white Steamed with Solen)” etc.
3． Sinono-vacula constricta, another name of solen, the shell looks rectangular and rounded at the two ends, The growth line is very clear and the shell is yellowish green. The surface is always worn out to show the white. The shell is thin and brittle. The estuaries of the river and sea, or the shallow sea bays are Sinono-vacula constricts’ habitats. The outputs of the Sinono-vacula constricts are in places of Shandong, Zhejiang, and Fujian coasts. And the Sinono-vacula constricts can be cultivated. In summer, the outputs are the most productive. The their meat is delicate and tender, very tasty, either fresh or dried. The solen is suitable for sautée, frying，salad and quick frying etc. The main menu for the Sinono-vacula constricts are “Oil sautéed Solen”, “Salad Solen” and “Quick fried solen” .
The famous dishes
Wenfeng double bamboo: the famous dishes in Wenfeng Hotel, named as fried double bamboo. The main material is solen and bamboo shoots to be fried. The solen is produced in the mud flat along Rudong coast. The shape of the solen is bamboo like with tender meat, which looks like jade, and is the best in the seafood. In recent years, the Dongsha of Rudong City has developed solen cultivation farms, where you may find the solen meat chubby and tasty in time of Autumn and Winter till Qingming Festival.
Fried solen: The cooks in Nantong prepare the solen in unique way. The fried solen is sautéed over hot fire. The name is obtained because the frying requires very quick action, thus the name is called. The protein of the solen meat will be immediately solidified after heated and the water content is then not easily seeped out, thus sustainiing the tenderness and plumpness of the solen meat. The feature of this dish is plumpness, white color, tenderness and crisp. When you get one with your chopstick, you may feel it shines and induce you to help yourself to the seasonal delicacy.
Sewed dry solen: “Stewed Solen” is the indispensable local dish for the banquet in Rudong, Nantong. “No dinner can be said as a banquet without solen” has been a folk custom in Rudong. A unique craft in preparing“Stewed solen”is used, which looks like milky with mellow taste and smoothness in solen meat. It is also elastic and both the solen and the soup taste pleasant in aftertaste.