Tempura Cockles

Tempura cockles are a long way from the polystyrene cup, vinegar soaked cockles of your childhood. Whilst we love nothing more than sitting on a blustery shore tucking into these delicate seafood snacks, we know that not everyone likes that. There are two surefire ways to make almost anything delicious; crack an egg on it or deep fry it. You’ll be pleased to know we’ve gone for the latter.

We were testing this recipe ahead of our Supper Club on the 24th November and we’re so chuffed with how they’ve turned out, that they’ve made it onto the menu. Don’t forget to get your tickets on the link, they’re just £25 and the money raised will go to local charity Quaggy. If that’s not enough it’s BYOB – that’s right a three course meal and BYOB for under £30 in London!

You don’t need a deep fat fryer to make these tasty morsels at home, they’ll shallow fry just fine – but make sure you step back as they do spit a little. Served with an aioli these make a great seafood starter, or the perfect snack for watching a film with a beer. Because of the ‘popcorn’ appearance they’d also be a neat way to get kids, or those picky eaters, trying a different mollusc to the usual mussels.

tempura cockles

Salt and vinegar tempura cockles (makes enough for 2 as part of a starter)

  • 4 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 100ml ice cold sparkling water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Aioli to serve
  • Chives to serve
  • 500g raw (in shell) cockles


  1. Bring a mugful of water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the cockles and put the lid on.
  2. Steam for three minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and leave to cool.
  3. Check the cockle shells have opened.
  4. Remove the meat from each shell and set aside.
  5. Bring a medium pan to a high heat and half fill with vegetable oil.
  6. Mix the cornflour with the vinegar and sparkling water. Mix well.
  7. The batter will be a lot thinner than the likes of a fish and chip batter so don’t be off put by this.
  8. Pour the cockle meat into the batter and stir so they have a coating.
  9. Fry the cockles in batches. They will only take a minute or so to go golden brown, and the cockle meat is already cooked.
  10. Remove and place on kitchen roll to drain the oil.

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