Boiled Periwinkles with Seaweed

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

Though you'll spend many a happy hour gathered around the table with loved ones eating these critters, they take very little time to cook in the kitchen. Stir-fry them with your choice of condiments (think soy sauce, fish sauce, and wine) and aromatics, like garlic, ginger, and fresh chili peppers. Better yet, boil them in water with a good measure of salt. Most things from the sea taste good when you put them into a pot of boiling water. Taking a cue from fisherman and coastal residents everywhere, I like to toss a piece of seaweed into the pot when I cook my periwinkles. The kombu used for making dashi works perfectly well, if you happen not to live by the ocean. Periwinkles can be found around this time of year, at Asian markets and specialty fishmongers.

Boiled Periwinkles with Seaweed

About This Recipe

Yield:four as a delicate appetizer
Special equipment:a large pot for boiling
This recipe appears in: The Nasty Bits: Periwinkle


  • 1 pound periwinkles
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 four-inch square kombu


  1. 1

    Place periwinkles in large bowl and cover with cold water. Agitate gently to rinse. Sand and sediment should fall to bottom of bowl. Lift periwinkles and place in second bowl. Pour off water from first bowl along with sand and sediment. Repeat 3-4 times until no sand rinses off of periwinkles.

  2. 2

    In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add cleaned periwinkles and kombu. Simmer 20 minutes, then drain. Serve hot or cold with soy sauce, lemon, and/or olive oil.


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