How to prepare cockles

How to prepare cockles
Cockles are small Atlantic shellfish which can be used in many delicious dishes. However, they need to be prepared with care before cooking.

Here is a simple way to do this.
524K 1 167 3.7
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Last modified on: March 13th 2013

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For 120 g, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 40 g 60 g 120 g 240 g 360 g
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
25 min.1 hour27 min.1 hour 52 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 30 min.
How to prepare cockles
Tip the cockles into a large container of cold water. Stir them round briefly and leave for 30 minutes.

Stage 2 - 3 min.
After this time, remove the cockles form the water. It is important not to tip the contents of the container through a sieve (which will not extract the sand), but remove them carefully from the water.

See how on this video.

Discard the water, rinse out the container, refill it with clean water and put the cockles back in.

Stage 3 - 30 min.
How to prepare cockles
Leave to soak for another 30 minutes.

Repeat this operation until the water remains clear.

Stage 4 - 5 min.
How to prepare cockles
Chop 1 shallot.

Rinse the parsley, keeping the stalk.

Stage 5 - 2 min.
How to prepare cockles
Melt 10 g butter in a large pan then add the chopped shallot and parsley, but do not add salt or pepper. Cook without colouring for 1 minute.

Stage 6 - 5 min.
How to prepare cockles
Add 100 ml dry white wine and bring to the boil.

Stage 7 - 2 min.
How to prepare cockles
As soon as the white wine boils, add the washed cockles...

Stage 8
How to prepare cockles
...and cover.

Stage 9
How to prepare cockles
After a few minutes, the shells will begin to open. Stir them round in the pan so that those that are still closed are in the wine to give them the chance to open.

Stage 10 - 5 min.
How to prepare cockles
After 3 or 4 minutes take out all the opened cockles, using a (spider) araignée or skimmer and put them in a sieve.

Stage 11 - 10 min.
How to prepare cockles
Remove the contents of the cockles one at a time and discard the shells. Discard any cockles that have broken shells and any that have not opened.

Stage 12 - 2 min.
How to prepare cockles
Rinse the cockles under cold running water to remove any remaining sand.

Stage 13
How to prepare cockles
If you plan to use the cooking liquid to make a sauce, which is a very good idea, you will need to reduce it.

Stage 14 - 3 min.
How to prepare cockles
Pour the contents of the pan into a smaller pan through a fine sieve.

Stage 15
How to prepare cockles
Beware: the sand from the cockles will collect at the bottom of the pan, so it is important NOT to try and filter right to the last drop, but discard the liquid from the bottom (and the sand with it).

Stage 16 - 15 min.
How to prepare cockles
Reduce the remaining saved cooking liquid by around half over low heat before using in your recipe.
When preparing cockles, you will encounter two problems: sand, which is very unpleasant in the mouth (so do follow the advice to deal with this) and the saltiness of the cooking liquid. If you use this to make a sauce, do not add any salt.

Cockles are mostly shells and water: for 1 kg of cockles you will only end up with around 100 g of useful cockle meat (90% waste).
A few hours in the fridge in a sealed container or covered with plastic film.
Home made.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
152 Kcal or 636 Kj10 gr6 gr8 gr
8 %4 %1 %1 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
13 Kcal or 54 Kj1 gr1 gr1 gr
1 %<1 %<1 %<1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Milk, Sulfites
How much will it cost?
  • For 120 g : 6.81 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.

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Your 1 comments or questions on this recipe
  • Just made this. It was delicious! very easy to follow your instructions.
    Many Thanks!
    Posted by Anonymous may 2nd 2016 at 09:58 (n° 1)
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