Little-neck clams are one of the most favored type of shellfishes in Korea. These clams are easy to cultivate and key income source in the south coast regions, including our City of Sacheon. They used to be called "basiragi" but then was shortened to "basirak." In the east coast of Gyeongsang-do, they are called "bbansirak", in TongyongGosung and Geoje"bansiraegi," while in Inchon and Jeolla-do "bansirak". In China, they are called "peirubinhazai".
The shells are swollen, oval-shaped and hard. There are radial line patterns on the rough surface. Size, color, and the patterns on the shell vary depending on the habitat. The tentacles look simple with no protrusion but have 3 teeth.
Young clams have less swollen shapes and move using their muscular foot. They can move 4.8-5.7m for 30 days and eat phytoplankton in sea clay or seabed and sand. They reproduce themselves and grow very quickly, but rarely move, which allow the farmers to grow them easily. Little-neck clams are a primary income source to the fisher sin this region. Except from early July through mid-August, breeding season, little-neck clams are harvested and distributed to the markets throughout the year. Commercial clam cultivation started in 1912 in Korea.
Best ways to eat little-neck clams are to cook them for soup, or pickle, or eat raw except breeding season. They are also used for shrimps' feed. Best taste little-neck clams are harvested in March and April as they grow most quickly to get ready for summer breeding season. Jasanobo by Joseon's scholar, Jung Yakjeon described little-neck clams by name of chun-hap and wrote that their flesh was rich with tasty flavor. Little-neck clams are packed with calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B2. These nutrients are known to stimulate the production of bile and support bowel and intestinal activities. They also help blood formation. The shell powder would supplement one's daily calcium intake and is good for excessive sweating.