Deep fried foraged cockels

deep fried cockels

The other day when  it was time for a dog walk at the beach I saw a man and woman who were collecting something on the beach. I had to ask what they were doing and the man was super nice and told me that they were foraging for cockels. He also showed me what to look for and I couldn’t wait to give it a go myself.


I went back to the beach the following day, armed with a bucket, dogs in tow I headed out to find some cockels. before I knew it there was a spurt of water and there was the first cockel! After that it took ages to find the next one but who cares. I looked everywhere and walked so slowly one of the dogs refused to leave my side and thought he would have a rest whilst keeping an eye on my whereabouts.


dog on the beach


We got a fair bounty for a first try.




There wasn’t many but enough for a starter. The cockels were big and I decided to steam them open and then give them a rinse again. I loosened the cockel from the shell and rinsed it again. I gave each cockel a squeeze and cleaned it inside as well to get all the sand out.


Deep fried cockels 

preparation time 15 minutes 

cooking time a couple of minutes 

serves 2


  • cockels, we had 24 cockels between 2
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for frying

Mix the salt, pepper and paprika powder with the corn starch.

Dredge the cleaned cockels in the flour whilst heating the oil.


Place the cockels in the oil and fry until crispy on both sides.

I cleaned the shells, dried them and served the cockels in the shell, it made them look pretty but was a little fiddly but looked pretty.


deep fried cockels


I liked the contrast with the cockels being crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, each bite had a lovely flavour of the sea. We finished the cockels in no time at all and I wished we had more, next time I might get a top up from the fishmonger.

I like foraging and this was a bit like mushrooming, once you see the first one it gets easier. I always feel closer to nature, it is a great way to spend an afternoon on the beach and as long as I bring some dog biscuits to reward the patience everyone is happy!










4 Responses to “Deep fried foraged cockels”
  1. Irene Fogarty says:

    I read that as foraged cockerels. Poachin’ P!
    They look delicious ☺

  2. Loretta says:

    I could clearly make a whole meal of this Petra, love cockles.

    • petra08 says:

      Well our little bounty didn’t last long but it was worth it! Next time I will get lots from the fishmongers as he always has them and they are cheap as chips! 🙂

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