We're going behind the scenes and getting up close and personal with some of the Valley's favorite chefs, learning what it takes to make one of their best-known dishes. Welcome to The Trail.
According to Chinese folklore, geoducks are aphrodisiacs. And when you see one of the large and, let's be honest, phallic, clams sitting on a counter, it's not hard to imagine how that rumor began.
But virility claims aren't the only thing these bivalves have working in their favor. Geoducks, pronounced "goo-ee-ducks," have a rich, chewy, and crunchy texture, as well as a pleasant briny flavor not unlike that of a fresh oyster. In fact, these clams are in such high demand they can cost up to $1 an ounce at wholesale prices. An order of mirugai, or geoduck sashimi, will cost you about $20 if you find it on the menu at a sushi restaurant.
Hana Japanese Eatery in Phoenix gets one of the highly prized clams "every once in a while," says co-owner and sushi chef Lori Hashimoto. And when they do, she warns, the special never lasts for long.