Copycat Friendly’s Fried Clam Strips Recipe

Jump To Recipe Team Team September 23, 2020
10outofsomething | Flickr

The perfect entree needs to be simple, but tasty enough to excite you for the next course. And what better way to start off dinner than with a plate of fried clam strips? Our fried clam strips recipe tastes just like Friendly’s scrumptious platter. We’ve got it all right down to its crunchy batter and golden brown color. It’s simply delightful, and we’re going to show how to make fried clam strips at home!

In this recipe, we’re coating clam strips in a tasty batter, and deep-frying them by batches. You can dip them in sauces for added flavor. But for us, a great dipping sauce for fried clam strips you can try out is our Healthy Hot Horseradish Sauce

Our fried clam strips recipe is plentiful enough to serve about 8 people. That’s a lot of tasty strips for you to enjoy with friends and family!

Friendly’s Clam Strips Platter

But let’s not forget to pay homage to the restaurant that inspired this recipe. Friendly’s fried clam strips platter is one of their best-selling entrees. It gets even better when paired with an equally delicious mound of potato fries and their signature tartar sauce. The tanginess from the tartar sauce is there to balance out the taste of the dish. Friendly’s clam strips come in a huge platter that’s perfect for sharing. We adore this platter so much that we’ve made a copycat recipe just for you.

What Pairs Well with Fried Clam Strips

It’s no secret that Friendly’s clam strips are served with crispy but soft on the inside potato fries. We have a copycat recipe for Steak and Shake’s French Fries that works well with that. But it’s not only fries that go well with these fried clam strips. You can also pair it up with some Copycat Bubba Gump’s Mama Blue’s Southern Charmed Fried Shrimp. Now those sound like perfect starters for your big meal!

You can’t go wrong with a batch of fried clam strips. You can serve them as entrees for lunch and dinner or as crunchy snacks. Our recipe is serving you bite-sized deliciousness and is easy to make. Try them out with your favorite dipping sauces and sides today!

How To Make Copycat Friendly's Fried Clam Strips

Get a taste of Friendly’s crunchy fried clam strips with this copycat recipe for the perfect snack or appetizer! Serve them with your favorite dipping sauces and sides.

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins


  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 lbs clam strips
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Start by heating the canola oil in a pot over moderate heat until it reaches 380 degrees F.

  2. While the oil is being heated, rinse and drain the clam strips in a colander.

  3. Stir the clam strips together with buttermilk in a large bowl.

  4. Drain the clam strips well in a colander. Let them set over a bowl for at least 5 minutes.

  5. In another bowl stir together the cornstarch, cornmeal, flour, curry powder, celery salt, cayenne, and salt.

  6. Dredge a handful of drained clams in the flour mixture then shake in a large sieve to remove excess flour.

  7. Transfer the clams one by one in a baking sheet and then shake them again to remove any excess flour mixture.

  8. Fry the coated clams until they're crisp and golden for about 1 ½ minutes. Then, transfer them onto some paper towels with a slotted spoon for draining. Afterward, sprinkle them with salt to taste.

  9. Serve with some potato fries and your desired dipping sauce, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Always return the oil to 380 degrees F between batches to properly cook the strips.
  • The perfect contrast to balance out the flavors of your clam strips is a sour, vinegar-like dip. Try it with the aforementioned tartar sauce or our Balsamic Vinegar BBQ Sauce.



  • Calcium: 41mg
  • Calories: 152kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Cholesterol: 8mg
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Potassium: 86mg
  • Protein: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 427mg
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Vitamin A: 147IU
Nutrition Disclaimer
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Commonly Asked Questions

What clams are used for this recipe?

Clam strips are often made from large surf clams commonly known as the Atlantic Surf Clam. You can easily buy these already in strips at the grocery or fresh at the farmer’s market. If you’re buying whole clams, remember that for this recipe you’d only be needing the clam strip, which is the loose hanging piece under the belly of a clam.

Can I air-fry my clam strips instead?

You definitely can if you’re looking to cook these in less oil. To do this, place your battered clam strips in the air fryer basket. Then, cook them for 5 to 6 minutes. Now to cook them evenly, take them out every 2 minutes to shake until they are crispy and golden brown.

Can I get food poisoning by eating clams?

Yes. Mollusks like clams, mussels, and oysters may have eaten algae that produce toxins and this poisonous matter is scattered in the flesh. To avoid this, tune in to the local fishing channel in cases of red tide happening. However, in general, seafood — including these clams — are safe when cooked thoroughly.

How do I reheat my leftover fried clam strips?

You can reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F. Place them on a baking sheet and let them bake for 10 to 15 minutes. They should be perfectly heated and taste just as delightful!



While clams are commonly served as steamed or buttered, don’t stop your imagination from running wild. This unique and tasty take on fried clam strips will surely have you making them more than once. They’re well-seasoned and perfectly bite-sized like fries for your snacking or entree. Seafood snacks have never been better with this recipe. Try them out with your favorite dipping sauce and taste the difference.


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