On National Clam Chowder Day, we reveal the one surprising ingredient that turns classic clam chowder into something incredibly special. Here's the best clam chowder recipe you'll ever make.

By Ananda Eidelstein
February 25, 2018
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Every good cook keeps a go-to recipe of clam chowder on hand, especially on National Clam Chowder Day (February 25). We love this classic Clam Chowder recipe not only because it’s stunning, but also because it has a secret hack that works like magic to really take it to a whole other level of richness.

Among a creamy bowl filled with tender potatoes, bacon, and littleneck clams is a little twist: dried shrimp. Instead of using seafood stock for the rich broth, the soup gets its depth from the dried shrimp instead. A bag of these crustaceans can be found in the international aisle at the supermarket or an Asian grocer. Shop for the bright orange ones as they’ll impart the freshest flavor.

To cook up the delectable salty broth on National Clam Chowder Day, or any other day you’re dreaming of a luscious clam chowder, boil milk, the dried shrimp, and bay leaves and let the flavors infuse off the heat for about 30 minutes. You’ll then strain the solids and keep the broth.

RELATED: How To Make Simple Clam Chowder

You’ll be using this tip for years to come.

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