Broiled Cockles with Garlic and Capers: Ace of Cockles

| May 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

One of the fun things about going to the bays in Oregon to dig for clams or cockles is that inevitably you run into other clam and cockle lovers scouring the sand for these succulent prizes, and you swap favorite methods for preparing the seafood bounty once you get home. The last time I was there, I ran into a family that was knee deep in huge pits they had dug out in the bay, their kids clawing through the sand with potato forks while the parents were digging away with shovels. Every now and then one of the children would exclaim wildly that they had found a bivalve, and their parents would help identify the critter before the child would drop it in the bucket for safekeeping. Was it a quahog? Gaper? Steamer? Cockle? Purple varnish clam?

I walked over to the mother and asked what her favorite way of preparing the cockles was. “Shuck ’em, dab some butter and chopped garlic on them and put ’em under the broiler,” she said. On my way home with my limit of cockles from Tillamook Bay, I pondered what she said and decided that I would try chopped-up garlic, capers, thyme and olive oil on my shucked cockles before sliding them under the broiler. Yup. That should do the trick.

As I finished my thought, I noticed that I was passing Spirit Mountain Casino, so I decided to call this presentation Ace of Cockles

Ace of Cockles

Serves 4 as appetizers


  1. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) capers, chopped
  2. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) chopped garlic
  3. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) dried thyme
  4. 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) olive oil
  5. A dozen cockles, left to purge overnight in seawater sprinkled with a handful of corn meal, scrubbed clean and then shucked (you can substitute cockles for clams if you wish)
  6. Chopped parsley for garnish


  • In a small mortar and pestle, mash the capers, garlic and thyme in olive oil.
  • Arrange shucked cockles in their shell on a baking pan and place some of the mashed-up garlic, capers and olive oil in each and slide the cockles under the broiler under high heat.
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes and serve hot, topped with some chopped parsley.


— Vic

Tags: , , ,

Category: Seafood

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.

Leave a Reply