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Champ01

Desanding goolwa cockles for cooking

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Hey there guys. I am sure there is someone out there who knows how to completely de-sand goolwa cockles for use in dishes such as marinaras/pasta dishes/soups etc. Have no problems in getting our bag limit of cockles and they always go to good use in the bait freezer. However, we'd like to put them to good use in the kitchen as well! Have tried numerous things recommended in cook books/online but there always seems to be a very slight amount of sand/grit inside the cockle - rendering them inedible. Have tried keeping them alive in saltwater for 24-48 hours, fresh water for the same period and elevated from base of container away from any sand. Sometimes there seems to be a very slight amount of grit left inside of the cockle/?digestive tract.Obviously there is a way of completely de-sanding the cockles commercially for sale at market/exporting.Any thoughts?Anything worked for others?Cheers.

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Guest lloydy

Only theory I know is place cockles in lightly salted freshwater, and store them for 3 hours in a dark place,

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We got our bag limit last monday. We ate about 4 kilos of them on thursday. All we do is put what we want to eat into one of them large white buckets with fresh saltwater. The day after we caught them we went down to port noarlunga jetty and filled about 3 white buckets. Each day we change the water. On the day of cook up we tip them into the sink and give them a real good rinse in freshwater. When it comes to cooking we just fry up some garlic, shallots and ginger add the cockles followed by 1/2 a cheap $4.00 bottle of clean skin dry white wine. Put the lid on the wok or the frypan like we used and let them steam for about 5 minutes, this should just about get any traces of sand left in the cockles out. We also cooked up some fettucine and then added a jar of leggos alfredo and about 300ml of cream. To that we add the cockles bring it back to the boil and then serve. Bloody delicious mate and i don't reckon i tasted one grain of sand. :)

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Champ01Check out these two sites:http://www.australianseafood.com.au/species-index.php?f=218&v=f&p=1andhttp://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/FISHline/SpeciesInfo/ClamsCocklesPipis/tabid/166/Default.aspxSeems like the correct temperature of the water might be the key...Cheersarcherfish

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Thanks for the info lads. Sounds like MickSA has had success with keeping them in replenished sea water for several days followed by a thorough rinse. Also makes sense that in cold water/freezer they close up and don't purge. This all suggests to me that the key probably is - keeping them alive and in good condition for as long as you can such that the cockles actively purge themselves. They are very active if left undisturbed in sea water - they go nuts actually with a lot of movement of the fleshy part outside the shell. Occasionally you can see them purge small amounts of sand too.I will keep cracking on and see what works - be sure to give an updated report.

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They are very active if left undisturbed in sea water - they go nuts actually with a lot of movement of the fleshy part outside the shell.

If you keep them in a quiet place, then tap the container, you'd be amazed how noisy they are too :ohmy: Good luck with it champ

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We love our cockles!The commercial guys use high pressure pumps and large quantities of moving water to purge cockles, but of course that sort of setup just isn't appropriate for us.Instead, an option we can use is to place them in an onion sack or similar, with a stick across the top, so that it can be suspended in a container of SALTwater, but not sitting on the bottom. It must be salt, or the cockles will die!Leave them in there for 24 hours, and every couple of hours give the bag a bit of a shake. You will see all the sand in the bottom of the container which they spit out!It is in no way as good as using fast flowing water as the commercial guys do, but it does a pretty good job, although it will never get ALL the grit out.YUM!Posted Image

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just keeping cockles alive in fresh saltwater from goolwa beach is a good way of purging just in the esky make sure you take a couple of buckets with you so you can take some more fresh saltwater from goolwa beach for changing the water in the esky your keeping the cockles alive in so you can change the water three changes of water over a period of three days should be ok after that may be a little sand left as for cooking cockles minced garlic white vinegar sweet chili sauce steamed beatiful

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just keeping cockles alive in fresh saltwater from goolwa beach is a good way of purging just in the esky make sure you take a couple of buckets with you so you can take some more fresh saltwater from goolwa beach for changing the water in the esky your keeping the cockles alive in so you can change the water three changes of water over a period of three days should be ok after that may be a little sand left as for cooking cockles minced garlic white vinegar sweet chili sauce steamed beatiful

coming back to adelaide i grabbed a bag of ice' date=' put into a couple clean garbage bags and layed that on top of the cockles which were kept suspended mid way in plastic trays in the esky full of salt water (similar to rangers set up) which kept the temperature of the water down until i could get them home out of the heat in a cool spot, let them sit over night and most if not all the sand is at the bottom.. keeping the water temp down is the key B)Goolwacockles2011003.JPG

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