Stir-fried cockles are another delicious seafood dish found at the seafood stands at Central Market. The tiny cockles are first boiled in a pan, and then, after the water evaporates, the vendor will stir-fry them with all the spices and other ingredients. The exterior shell is rich in flavor and has a sweetish and salty taste with an amazing aroma. The insides are very soft, with a fishy smell, but it’s not at all overpowering, and the seasoning makes it delicious. You can eat the cockles as an appetizer or a snack after finishing your meals. The cockles are particularly popular among the older generation in Cambodia, and these stir-fried ones are one of my grandma’s favorites.
However, eating this delicacy can be a bit tedious, as you have to rip open the cockle to eat the insides. Though it is all part of the experience, and you can trust me, when I say it is worth all the effort, because inside each cockle awaits a delicious morsel.
Cockles are really unique and traditional part of Cambodian food culture, and they are a great, cheap alternative, to other seafood options, so next time you are add the seafood stand, don’t hesitate to give them a try.