Sushi - Sushi Shellfish - Cockle

Cockle (Torigai)

Fulvia Mutica

Also see: Cockle Sushi in Sushi Menu

Cockles are in season during the summer. They live in shallow waters and feed on plankton. Torigai directly translates to “bird clam” and this is because the cockles foot that sticks out of its shell resembles a bird’s beak. Cockles use these feet to jump and evade predators such as the starfish.

Cockles must be fresh and must never be frozen, or their quality drops significantly. The body of the cockle (which is not consumed) contains a lot of sand and debris, so the foot is removed, butterflied and lightly poached at the fish markets and sold in containers, but serious chefs buy them un-shucked and prepare it themselves.