Limpets - how to cook them?

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Andy BB

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Apr 19, 2010
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Although I've used the wee beasties for decades as emergency fishing bait when I've run out of the "good stuff" (emergency as, basically, I've never managed to catch anything on limpets, although I live in hope!), I've only ever tried to eat limpets a few times (cooked on hot rock, or on barbeque etc). I personally remove the "gut sac", although I nknow several people who keep it, saying it improves the flavour. Having tried it, lets just say I'm still to be convinced! By all accounts they're a safer foraging food than mussels, because they tend not to accumulate as much from poor water as much as, mussels, for example.

My problem with limpets is - gut-sac or no gut-sac - they're like chewing rubber. Decent flavour, but makes my jaw ache! Has anyone actually come up with a way of retaining the flavour but improving the consistency? Maybe sticking them in a blender to make a limpet chowder? Deep frying? Stewing? Anyone got any favourite recipes that address the texture rather than the taste - I find garlic butter helps with the latter!
 

Andy BB

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Apr 19, 2010
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Cheers BL. Only problem is that - apart from Uncle Ray's suggestion of blitzing in a blender and making a chowder, all the others (apart from one which recommends tenderising with a mallet - I might try that) don't address the chewiness factor. (Other than saying that over-cooking might make them tough! Good grief, how much tougher can they get!)
 

The Big Lebowski

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 11, 2010
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Sunny Wales!
Trust me... Alot! :)

Now, I'm not sure if the same applies, but a golden rule when cooking squid is... 30 seconds, or 3 hours.

Why don't you try some in the oven (uncooked) with some fresh peeled chopped tomato's, herbs (tarragon maybe), few bulbs of peeled garlic and a good old glug of olive oil. Cooking time say 2/3hrs at 80 degree's then at the last 30 mins add uncooked prawns/mussels and see how it go's.

Or, sear then very quickly (20 secs) and drizzle with lemon/black pepper.
 
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mountainm

Bushcrafter through and through
Jan 12, 2011
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www.mikemountain.co.uk
Cheers BL. Only problem is that - apart from Uncle Ray's suggestion of blitzing in a blender and making a chowder, all the others (apart from one which recommends tenderising with a mallet - I might try that) don't address the chewiness factor. (Other than saying that over-cooking might make them tough! Good grief, how much tougher can they get!)
I wonder if you could are pound them out so they're flat and then cook them until hard and brittle like well done bacon?
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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...My problem with limpets is - gut-sac or no gut-sac - they're like chewing rubber. Decent flavour, but makes my jaw ache! Has anyone actually come up with a way of retaining the flavour but improving the consistency? Maybe sticking them in a blender to make a limpet chowder...
Interesting. What does blitzing in a blender have to do with making a chowder? All the chowders I've eaten (usually either clam chowder or corn chowder) were made with the prime item (clams or corn kernels) left whole (although the clams were removed from the shells)
 

Nagual

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Jun 5, 2007
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Argyll
I would recommend cooking for about 4 hours until they turn to ash. I think they'll taste better that way... :lmao:
 

Andy BB

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Apr 19, 2010
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Interesting. What does blitzing in a blender have to do with making a chowder? All the chowders I've eaten (usually either clam chowder or corn chowder) were made with the prime item (clams or corn kernels) left whole (although the clams were removed from the shells)

I bow to your greater gastronomic expertise!

However, most of the clam etc chowder I've had in my travels throughout the US (including the Florida Keys) hasn't had big chunks of anything in it. So let me rephrase it - could you blitz them in a blender and make a thick limpet soupy thing?!
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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I bow to your greater gastronomic expertise!

However, most of the clam etc chowder I've had in my travels throughout the US (including the Florida Keys) hasn't had big chunks of anything in it. So let me rephrase it - could you blitz them in a blender and make a thick limpet soupy thing?!
Mine hasn't had "big chunks" either, but then our whole clams (after shucking) are less than the size of a fingernail (at least the ones used for chowder)

I was trying to ask if "chowder" means something different there than it does here.
 
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Melonfish

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 8, 2009
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Warrington, UK
i was going to say regarding limpets, cook as if squid. 30 seconds on a searing heat or 3 hours on a low heat.

the way huge furry-whittlingtool did em was to burn pine needles over them, these burn off really quick and leave little to no ash, you can then pick em up and eat (once gut sac as been removed)
 

TJRoots

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Jul 16, 2009
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in my experience with seafood, the best way to cook limpets is to not cook them. they are delicious raw and although still a bit chewy no where near as bad as when cooked. scoop it out the shell, chop of the gut sack, pull off the head and eat the foot.
 

lannyman8

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 18, 2009
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Dark side of the Moon
chewey yes, but they taste bloomin great...

maybe a flash fry in hot chilli oil...:) 30 seconds should do it, any more and they will get tough as hell...:(
 

Andy BB

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Apr 19, 2010
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in my experience with seafood, the best way to cook limpets is to not cook them. they are delicious raw and although still a bit chewy no where near as bad as when cooked. scoop it out the shell, chop of the gut sack, pull off the head and eat the foot.[/.

Sounds good - I'll give it a try when I'm back in the UK. Eating live shrimps raw (holding them by the head and biting off the body) was pretty good, so don't see why it shouldn't work for limpets!
 

Opal

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Dec 26, 2008
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Liverpool
Some good info here, don't know about the UK but I was fishing off some rocks, an area on the peninsula of Halkidiki some years back when a Professor of ???? approached me, we chatted then he opened an urchin and offered me the inside, roe? it was lovely, some are edible, nice taste for me, I just need to try it again on my next run.
 

cbr6fs

Native
Mar 30, 2011
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Athens, Greece
Some good info here, don't know about the UK but I was fishing off some rocks, an area on the peninsula of Halkidiki some years back when a Professor of ???? approached me, we chatted then he opened an urchin and offered me the inside, roe? it was lovely, some are edible, nice taste for me, I just need to try it again on my next run.
That's very common over, goes even better with some bread and Ouzo ;)
 

Gotte

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Oct 9, 2010
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Here and there
If you're eating them raw, how do you ensure there's no bacteria from the foodsack when you remove it? I've used limpets for bait when fishing, and seem to remember it's a messy business getting rid of the foodsack. And from what I understand, all it takes is a tiny bit of bacteria on the surface of any food to give you food poisoning.
 

TJRoots

Nomad
Jul 16, 2009
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East sussex
alot of people eat them with the foodsack on (bit too bitter for me like that), so i really doubt that a little bit would harm you, limpets graze on algae growing on the rocks so it would take some very nasty water to make them poisonous, just use common sense and make sure their is nothing that would contaminate the water such as a sewage outlet, large harbour or port or other various industrial things. also dont pick them from metal (ie pier supports).

did you ever have much luck using limpets as bait? im thinking of trying them out but would hate to waste a few hours cause ive got the wrong bait.
 
Limpets are nice I cook them by boiling them in my Crusader cup or on a flat hot rock either way the gut sack simply comes off, occasionally it may need a scrape with a knife to clean the odd bit off.

Yes sea food bacteria can cause you harm as can all bacteria, but if you cook them properly your pretty safe, your more likely to get ill from having dirty hands unless you wash them as well.