The Difference: Asari vs. Shijimi clams

Often used in miso soup and widely enjoyed in households, Asari (アサリ) and Shijimi (シジミ) are both clams that are very familiar to Japanese people.

That is why many of us can instantly tell them apart, but it may be slightly hard for the unfamiliar because they have a similar appearance.

Asari vs. Shijimi

Then, how do Asari and Shijimi clams differ? Today, I researched that.

And here, let me share the information I obtained for those who don’t know much. 


Asari ClamsAsari Clams

First and foremost, Asari and Shijimi are different in size and color, because of which we can easily distinguish them. 

Asari is larger than the Shijimi clam and generally has a 3 to 7-centimeter diameter. On the other hand, Shijimi is usually 2 to 3 cm. 

In terms of the color of the shell, Asari is varied, whereas most Shijimi clams are black and have almost no pattern.


Shijimi ClamsShijimi Clams

Regarding the habitat, Asari inhabits the sea, while Shijimi lives in freshwater or brackish water such as rivers and lakes.

Taste-wise, Asari is plain compared to Shijimi and is easy to eat. On the other hand, Shijimi is packed with umami but has a distinctive flavor.

Nutritional Values

Shijimi-Jiru (しじみ汁)Shijimi no Miso Soup or Shijimi-Jiru

Both Asari and Shijimi are healthy foods with high nutritional value.

They are rich in amino acids, minerals, taurine, and iron, from which you can expect fatigue recovery and beauty benefits.

Unlike Asari, Shijimi contains plenty of ornithine and is available in health supplements.


Asari no Sakamushi (アサリの酒蒸し)Asari no Sakamushi

As for usage, Asari goes well in various dishes, including Asari Gohan, Asari no Sakamushi, and Asari no Clam Chowder. 

Meanwhile, Shijimi often comes in soup dishes and Tsukudani. 

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia アサリ, シジミ, Misogen )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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