Drain clams well, reserving 1/2 cup of clam broth liquid. Combine all ingredients. Drop by tablespoonfuls into medium hot oil in a deep fryer or heavy skillet.
Oil that is too hot or cakes which are too large will cause burning or uncooked centers. Adjust temperature up or down slightly to compensate. A good starting temperature is 360 degrees.
The clam cakes will float; turn them over gently as they rise to fully cook both sides. Do not overload the cooker, as this will reduce heat too much. Fry only a few at a time.
Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce or Portuguese hot sauce, or just garnish with slices of lemon and a few sprigs of fresh parsley or kale. These are best while still warm, but can be served at room temperature as well.