Every immigration group has added to America’s diverse culinary heritage. From sauerkraut to quiche every dish served in America shares a link with some country beyond the sea.

The nearly endless list ranges France to Turkey, South America to South Africa to name only a few. The elegance and savory qualities of Japanese cuisine have long fascinated American chefs from sushi to umami.

Not to be overlooked is a unique San Francisco dish with a clearly Japanese heritage from top to bottom…

San Francisco Sake Steamed Clams


  • 4 teaspoons sake
  • 4 teaspoons mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 ¼ pounds Taylor Manila clams, scrubbed 
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce 
  • 1 green onion, chopped


  1. Scrub and rinse clams.
  2. Soak in a large bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Heat a wok or large saucepan over high heat.
  5. Quickly pour in the sake, mirin and rice vinegar.
  6. Add the clams; cover and cook until the clams open, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Discard any clams that do not open.
  8. Remove any scum that forms on the surface using a spoon or paper towel.
  9. Stir in the butter, soy sauce and green onion, tossing to coat the clams as the butter melts. Arrange clams on a serving plate and drizzle the sauce over them.
  10. Serve immediately.