This Japanese take on the Italian classic, made with sake-steamed littleneck clams, shiitake mushrooms, and julienned yakinori, is our new favorite way to eat pasta. The mushrooms and seaweed lend the umami notes provided by pancetta in the original dish. Todd Coleman

We based this recipe on one in Izakaya (Kodansha, 2008) by Mark Robinson. Read more about nori, the dried seaweed used to garnish this pasta that’s a staple of the Japanese pantry, in our October 2010 issue.

Japanese-Style Linguine with Clams Japanese-Style Linguine with Clams
We based this recipe on one in _Izakaya_ (Kodansha, 2008) by Mark Robinson
Yield: serves 4


  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. pasta, preferably linguine or spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. littleneck clams, washed and soaked for 2 hours
  • 2 tbsp. sake
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • 14 cup loosely packed julienned nori
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl, and toss with 1 tbsp. canola oil; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, chile flakes, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Add clams and sake, swirl pan, and cover; cook, swirling pan often, until clams open and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved pasta and a few tablespoons of the pasta water; season with soy sauce and toss pasta to combine, adding a few more tablespoons of the reserved pasta water if you like.
  3. Transfer pasta to 4 serving bowls and garnish with nori and scallions