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Recipe for :

Cockle Cakes - Teisennau Cocos

This recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Owen Jones, a fellow Welshman, and more recipes can be found on his website . . .

Cockle-wives, with their pony or donkey carts, have always been part of the Welsh coastal scene, particularly at Penclawdd in the Gower. At low tide they would 'scrap' the sand for cockles and boil them over open fires on the beach.


1 quart cockles
1 - 1 1/2 oz. oatmeal
3 ozs flour
Pinch of salt
1 oz butter
1 egg yolk
Water or milk
Fat for frying


  • The evening before they are required, place the cockles in a bowl of cold, salted water, sprinkle over the oatmeal and leave overnight. Next day, drain the cockles and scrub them thoroughly.
  • Place in a saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil and boil for 3 - 4 minutes, until the shells open. Allow the cockles to cool and, discarding any that have NOT opened, remove the remainder from their shells.
  • Sift the flour and the salt together in a bowl, then rub in the butter. Stir in the egg yolk, then add sufficient water or milk to make a thick smooth batter.
  • Heat the fat in a deep pan and, using a spoon, dip the cockles, one or two at a time, into the batter and fry in the hot fat until crisp and golden.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm. Serve accompanied by lemon wedges and crusty bread.

Serves 4

Owen Jones