Japanese Steamed Seafood in Kelp Boats Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4


  • 1/3 pound littleneck or cherrystone clams (about 4 clams)
  • 4 to 8 mussels
  • 4 to 8 sea scallops, halved, or 1/4 pound baby scallops
  • 8 to 12 medium-size raw shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 2 or 3 fresh or thawed frozen king crab legs (optional), cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (3-ounce) package good-quality wide dashi konbu (dried kelp), cut into 4 (8x6-inch) pieces
  • 8 (7-inch) dried-gourd strips (kampyo), soaked in salted water
  • 4 teaspoons sake
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • Scalloped lemon slices
How to cook Japanese Steamed Seafood in Kelp Boats:
  • Using a stiff brush, scrub clams under cool running water. Discard any that do not snap shut as you begin scrubbing.
  • Scrub mussels under cool running water. If necessary, pull off bread or strands coming from shells. Make sure mussels are closed tightly; discard any that are not. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Place clams in a large bowl; add salt and cover with cool water. Soak 3 to 4 hours.
  • To soften dried konbu, dip pieces into a large bowl of warm water. Gently flex pieces 1 minute or until they begin to soften. Do not soak too long or konbu softens, losing its flavor in the water. Pat dry.
  • Gather each end of a piece of konbu; tie with 2 strips of soaked gourd.
  • Form konbu into a boat shape. Form 3 more boats with remaining konbu pieces and gourd strips.
  • Into each boat, put 1 clam, 1 or 2 mussels, 4 half pieces of scallop or several baby scallops and 2 or 3 shrimps.
  • Using kitchen scissors, snip open shell of each piece of crab leg; leave meat in shell. Add 1 or 2 pieces to each boat.
  • In a wok or deep pot, bring about 4 cups water to a boil. Place seafood boats on a steamer tray.
  • Add 1 teaspoon sake, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon butter to each boat.
  • Cover tray. Place over boiling water; steam seafood 5 to 8 minutes or until clams and mussels have opened.
  • Garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately. Instruct diners to dip seafood into the delicious broth that has formed in bottom of boats.


The Japanese name for the Steamed Seafood in Kelp Boats recipe is Sakana No Konbu Bune.

This recipe for Japanese Steamed Seafood in Kelp Boats serves/makes: 4

The Japanese Steamed Seafood in Kelp Boats (Sakana No Konbu Bune) recipe is adopted from The Japanese Cooking for the American Table.

Main Ingredient: Seafood Mix (more Seafood Mix recipes)
Preparation Method: Steamed (more Steamed recipes)
Cuisine: Japanese (more Japanese recipes)

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