Clam, also called Ruditapes philippinarum, or Che Ao as the local people called. It is of mollusca and bivalvia, Eulamellidranchia. Veneridae, and meretrix. This clam is triangle shaped but rounded on the ventral lateral. The shell is hard and thick with the two pieces of shells in equal size. The shell tracery is variously colorful in radiative form. The glossy surface of the shells looks like porcelain with the white meat inside. The axe-like foot is so big as to have a name of “Moon Axe”. The meat of the clam is very tender and jade like to taste very delicious. This is really a curiosa of the seafood.
The clam is full of protein, containing 11.8 grams of protein, fat of 0.6 gram and carbohydrate of 6.2 grams in 100 grams of clam meat. It also contains different amino acids and vitamins and the mineral elements of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphate and iron etc. The clam is not only delicious but also full of nutrition and value of food therapy for diseases. Li Shizhen said in his famous “Compendium of Materia Medica” the clam “could be used for curing skin ulcer, furuncle, and pyogenic infection, and eliminating the bump and disintoxication” etc. The modern research also indicates that the clam functions to clear heat, remove dampness through diuresis, reducing phlegm and dissipating stagnation. Its extract has the suppression against the tumor cell.
The Chinese people like to eat clam, which can be traced back to the remote ages. “Han Feizi Five Bookworms” recorded “In the remote ages, people ate fruits, melons and clams and mussels”. In different dynasties, the books of “The Classic of Mountains and Rivers”, “Book of Rites”, “Zuo's Commentary”, “Important Arts for the Peoples Welfare”, “Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang”, “Sheng Nong's herbal classic”, “Compendium of Materia Medica” and “Along with Garden Menu” have records of the food. In Tang Dynasty it used to be the imperial seafood tribute. The Qianlong Emperor of Qing Dynasty praised the clam as the “No. 1 Delicacy in the World”. The outputs are in the costal areas of China. The major areas for the clam output are Yingkou, Liaoning Prov. Lianyungang and Nantong, Jiangsu Prov.
The quality in south Yellow Sea mud flat of Nantong is the best. The clams of Nantong are famous for its beauty of color, shape, delicacy and win the favor of many diners. The clam is suitable for quick frying, sauté, boiling, stewing, simmering, roasting, salad etc. The dried clam is the sun cured products. In recent years, the Rudong Pharmaceutical factory has developed the powdered flavor with clam and named it as No.1 delicacy in the World, which is famous across the world. The No.1 delicacy as the menu called, together with “Emerald Clam Cake”, “Toast Moon Axes”, “Crackling Clam”, “Jade Axe in Gold Hill”, “Iron Plate Baked Clam” etc. are dishes of fame. Among them, “No.1 delicacy in the World”, “Emerald Clam Cake” etc. have been recorded into “China Famous Menu”, “Chinese Food Library”, “Chinese Food Classics” etc.