Steamed Cockles with Bread and Butter: A Delight from Ireland’s Coastal Villages

In the quaint coastal villages of Ireland, a cherished dish awaits seafood enthusiasts: Steamed cockles served with bread and butter. This culinary tradition highlights the simplicity and freshness of locally sourced ingredients, reflecting the rich maritime heritage of the region.


Fresh cockles
Sourdough bread
Irish butter
Optional: parsley for garnish


    Preparation: Begin by thoroughly rinsing the cockles under cold water to remove any grit or sand. Discard any cockles with broken shells or that do not close when tapped.
    Steaming the Cockles:

    In a large pot, add a small amount of water (about 1 cup).
    Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
    Carefully add the cockles to the pot.
    Cover the pot with a lid and steam the cockles for 3-5 minutes, or until the shells open. Discard any cockles that do not open.

    Preparing the Bread and Butter:

    While the cockles are steaming, slice the sourdough bread and toast it lightly.
    Spread generous amounts of Irish butter on the warm toast.


    Arrange the steamed cockles on a large serving platter.
    Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
    Serve immediately with the warm buttered sourdough bread.

Enjoying the Dish: This dish is best enjoyed with friends and family, savoring the briny sweetness of the cockles contrasted with the creamy richness of Irish butter on freshly toasted bread. It not only satisfies the palate but also connects diners to the coastal traditions and flavors that define Ireland’s culinary heritage.

Next time you find yourself in an Irish seaside village, be sure to indulge in this delightful combination of steamed cockles with bread and butter—an authentic taste of Ireland’s coastal charm.