New Zealand cockles or littleneck clams are found in harbours and estuaries all around the country. They like to live in soft mud and sand and can be found between the low tide and mid tide marks.
One technique to purge or get rid of the sand from your clams is to bring them home in a bucket of sea water from where you harvested them. They will be better after an hour in the bucket; ideally leave them overnight in a cool dark spot, but not in the fridge. Supermarket clams have usually been purged.
|500 ml||Fish stock|
|2 sticks||Lemongrass (Main)|
|1 kg||Cockles, washed well in cold water (Main)|
|¼ cup||Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced|
|1||Red chilli, sliced|
|⅓ cup||Basil leaves, or Vietnamese mint, torn into pieces|
|⅓ cup||Coriander leaves|
|⅓ cup||Spring onions, sliced|
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- Bring the stock to the boil. Cut the lemongrass in half, lightly crush it with a rolling pin then add to the stock.
- Add cockles and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cockles pop open.
- Place in a large pre-warmed bowl with the hot cooking stock. Garnish with chilli, herbs and spring onions — stir these through the stock as you serve them up.
- Cut the lime into quarters and squeeze directly over the clams as you devour them.