Fresh clams and mussels are awesome, and ideally you want to get them the same day you are going to cook them. But sometimes it isn’t convenient to get them “same day” and the problem is, they can be very difficult to keep alive once you bring them home. Yes, if you didn’t already realize it, those clams and mussels are ALIVE and must be kept that way until they are cooked or they’ll go bad. It can be tough to keep them alive in the fridge, even with the best of methods ensuring they have plenty of air and don’t drown. Yes, the clams and mussels CAN drown in fresh water. An easy way to keep them “fresh” is to simply steam them when you get home. Once they are steamed, just remove the meat from the shells, cover with a little clam broth from the steaming, put into a ziplock bag or container you can keep them in fridge for two full days and then simply add them to whatever recipe you’re making. You can also use that amazing clam / mussel broth to add some intense flavors to whatever it is you’re making, so be sure not to toss that broth.
I use this steaming trick all the time when I’m entertaining and especially for my Christmas Eve “Feast of the Seven Fishes. So to keep your newly purchased clams and mussels fresh for a few days, just steam them! Here’s my steamed clams / mussels recipe.