Winkles recipes

Winkles are small, black, snail-like shellfish that form a traditional part of a seafood platter. They have a limited following despite being delicious.

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Main course

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Buyer's guide

Winkles are sold live or cooked. Always smell fresh winkles - they should smell sweetly of the sea. Live winkles may move visibly.


Live winkles will need washing in lots of cold water then soaking in a little salted water for 30 minutes before boiling. Boiled in plenty of water, they take 3-4 minutes to cook. Once cooked, roll them in a little oil to make the shell glossy and serve with vinegar and salt (and a pin to extract the meat from the shell). It’s a little time-consuming to remove winkles from their shells, but worth the effort for the taste. Discard the hard foot at the top end; the rest is edible.

Article by CJ Jackson

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