The Tastiest Way To Serve Canned Cockles

You'd be hard pressed to do anything better than cracking open a bottle of crisp white wine and a can of beautiful briny bivalves on a summer evening — and we're not just talking oysters. If you like oysters and are looking for something a bit more nuanced, perhaps something smaller with a chewy texture (think a clam and an oyster had a child), then consider cockles your perfect option. But if it's not a clam and it's not an oyster, what exactly are you supposed to do with cockles? The short answer: treat it like ceviche. 

Just like you dress up a raw oyster with a little mignonette and cocktail sauce — and if you're feeling adventurous maybe some horseradish and chili — you'll need acid for your raw cockles. You can use anything from lemon juice to white wine vinegar. As with ceviche, the addition of red onion and cilantro will give the dish a bright finish. 

Canned to ceviche makes for a tasty creation

Since many of us don't have access to a fishmonger, the closest thing we can get to fresh seafood is actually in a can. The act of canning creates a mini-time capsule: The moment the fish is canned, the freshness is sealed in. Most fish were caught only the day before they were canned, providing a superior quality to many frozen options and saving you the time and labor of shelling and cleaning fresh ones. 

Once you're able to get your hands on a can, the process of transforming the cockles into ceviche is quite simple. Cockles come in brine that can be used in most ceviche recipes to add a salty, oceanic quality. After you drain the excess liquid, add a bit of lime or lemon juice to help tenderize the bivalves. Once this is done, you can dress up your cockle ceviche in a variety of ways. Along with the red onion and cilantro, mix in slices of avocado or add minced, fresh ginger for a spicy, refreshing twist. All these ingredients can be stirred together in a bowl along with olive oil and salt to taste and served with croutons for extra crunch.