Saturday, 25 February 2012

Cockles & Spinach Soup

Cockles are those tiny bivalve mollusks that are edible.  They are very popular in Singapore and are commonly used as ingredients in noodles like in the famous char kway teow, laksa, etc.  And these Singapore's local fares don’t seem to taste the same if cockles are missing or taken out of the recipe.  

My husband cooked cockles a few weeks back. He made a soup and added spinach to it.  A simple dish yet it was delicious.  The soup per se was really tasty and so flavorful.  Frederick didn't put too much spices and herbs so the flavor of the cockles is prominent in the soup.  Somewhat briny, not as musky as mussels but not slimy nor fishy :-) This soup recipe is just one of those ways Frederick cooks cockles.  He also like to add this small clams to his kway teow or other noodle recipes.

By the way, some people wants their cockles slightly cooked that is to say, the cockles are dropped in boiling liquid, let it sit their for at least 2 minutes maybe, then that's it.  This is because cooking the cockles for more than 2 minutes is overcooking it, and when it gets overcooked, it becomes tough and rubbery like other seashells.     I want my cockles to be cooked well-done just to make sure that they are safe to eat :-) You know, shells contains bacteria and the only way to kill bacteria, some of them, is to subject them to high heat for a period of time. Oh, don't forget to clean the cockles well, Frederick had to brush the shells one by one before cooking them to rid off dirt that got stuck on the shells

Cockles, by the way, are considered low calorie food.  A 100 g. of cockles provides 53 kcal.  They are a good and healthy source of protein, vitamins and minerals like omega-3 and vitamin B 12.  100 g. of cockles provides 12% of an individuals recommended weekly intake of omega-3 and provides 23 times vitamin B-12 content as compared to beef.  The added good news is that, cockles are low in fat (0.6 g.), low in saturated fat (0.2 g.) (source : The Nutritional & healthy facts about shellfish - )  This is the reason why it is an ideal food for those who wants to lose weight like us



Cockles, shell on - 400 g.
Spinach - 200 g.
Onions, diced - 1 medium size
Garlic - 3 large cloves
Ginger - 1/4 inches
Tomatoes, diced - 1 large
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil- 1 tsp
Water - 2 cups or depending on your soup preference

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.  Sauté in it the garlic, then the onion and ginger, then the tomatoes.  Let the veggies simmer.
  2. Add in the cockles and stir.  Pour the water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil for at least 10 minutes
  3. Remove from fire and add the spinach.  Keep the pot covered so the heat will cook the spinach

 © Fresha-licious (25February2012)