Three recipes from Amy Beh for the humble cockle

Fragrant Kam Hiong Style Fried Cockles.
Fragrant Kam Hiong Style Fried Cockles.PHOTOS: C. JASON

(THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - 

FRAGRANT KAM HIONG STYLE FRIED COCKLES

INGREDIENTS
400g cockles
2 to 3 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp dried prawns, soaked and chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced thinly
½ tsp belacan powder
3 bird’s eye’s chillies, diced

Seasoning
½ tsp chicken stock powder
Pinch of salt or to taste
Adequate sugar to taste
2 to 3 Tbsp water

Garnishing
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion and coriander leaves

METHOD
Rinse cockles several times, then soak for an hour in a basin of clean water with ½ tsp salt. (This is to remove any sand and grit.)

Once cockles are clean, blanch in boiling water briefly for two to three  minutes. Remove cockles from the hot water and strain well.

Heat 2 to 3 Tbsp oil in a wok and saute garlic, dried prawns, curry leaves and lemongrass until fragrant. Add belacan powder and stir-fry till fragrant again. Add bird’s eye chillies and cockles. Stir-fry briskly.

Add seasoning to mix. Toss and fry well. Dish up and serve at once with garnishing.


cockles

 

COCKLES WITH FRAGRANT SHAO HSING WINE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
500g cockles
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp sliced shallots
3 to 4 Tbsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiew wine
3 bird’s eye chillies, diced
2 long beans, diced
1 Tbsp diced tomato
2 stalks spring onion, diced
1 red chilli, seeded and sliced

Seasoning
1 Tbsp sugar or to taste
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fish sauce

METHOD
Put cockles in a basin of water with ½ tsp salt. Soak for 1 hour until all grit and dirt is removed.

Blanch cockles in boiling water for two to three minutes or until cockles are just semi-cooked. Dish out into a basin of iced water. Remove and strain the excess water.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a wok till hot. Saute garlic and shallots till fragrant. Stir in Shao Hsing Hua Tiew wine and allow to sizzle briskly. Add bird’s eye chillies. Dish out into a bowl and toss in long beans, tomato, spring onion, red chilli and seasoning to mix. 

Prise open the cockles with the half shell taken off. Arrange the cockles with the shells on a serving plate. Spoon the fragrant wine sauce ingredients over and serve at once.


cockles

 

POACHED COCKLES TOSSED IN VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

INGREDIENTS
500g cockles
½ tsp salt

Vinaigrette sauce
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
3 bird’s eye chilies, diced
5 to 6 kasturi limes, juiced
1 Tbsp grated lime rind
4 Tbsp caster sugar or to taste
1 Tbsp fish sauce

METHOD
Rinse cockles several times under running tap water till all mud and grit is removed. Soak cockles in water with ½ teaspoon salt. Leave aside for 1 hour. Drain cockles well.

Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Turn off the heat and add the cockles.

Cover the pot and allow to poach for one to two minutes. Strain the cockles on a wire strainer to remove excess water. Put aside.

Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a glass container. Stir till sugar dissolves and set aside.

Serve cockles in individual serving small bowls tossed with the sweet tangy vinaigrette dressing at once.