Saturday, June 13, 2009
Cockles are of the clam family. They have a unique flavour. They're sort of rubbery in texture and quite salty if they're not washed properly. In Penang, one normally finds cockles fried with char koay teow or cooked together with curry mee. I once had cockles at one of those late night Kuala Lumpur mamak stalls served up with plenty of chilli sauce. However I'm a purist at heart and seldom like dishes which are overwhelmed with condiments.
In my family, cockles are washed well to get rid of the mud and blanched awhile in hot boiling water and drained. They are then eaten on their own. One of the things about cockleshells are that they're tough enough to ruin your fingernails when you pry them open!
Cockles should be cooked right after they're bought from the wet market. If they're cooked when no longer fresh and eaten unawares, I can say from experience that they taste very nasty.