May 17th, 2009

The culinary mangrove


It is hard to believe that out of the sulphurous black mud of a mangrove forest come delicacies as sweet as mangrove mud crab and mangrove cockle. I have been chowing down on these gifts of the mangroves recently—see photos below. The crab can be served whole, either plain, with an accompanying salsa or vinaigrette, or slathered with a coconut curry sauce. For a less messy dining experience, serve only the claws, legs and the two meaty parts inside the carapace, discarding the rest.

The cockles work well in a ceviche. The shellfish are steamed open and then mixed with lime juice, vinegar, spring onions and other raw vegetables. I suspect that you could use any fish ceviche recipe, substituting for the fish whatever your local cockle equivalent happens to be. In a small restaurant in Quito called Martin Pescador, which specialises in mangrove and mangrove-related seafood, I saw cockles being sizzled on the half shell, and they looked delicious, so that would be another option to try.

Any recipe suggestions gratefully received! Send to

Mud crab before.

Mud crab in the hand. (Click to open slideshow)

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2 Responses to “The culinary mangrove”

  1. Phat Spyce says:


    By these shots the D40 seems to be working just fine with your 20mm. I found a site that compares the sensors of cameras and it seems the the d90 is getting close to the performance of the bigger sensors such as the full frame ones. Not that it helps you or I but still interesting.

  2. True confession: most of these shots are on the G10, which continues to impress me with its sharpness and ease of use. Frankly, manually focusing the 20mm on the D40 has proved problematic at speed (eg scrambling around the mangroves with the crab collectors) — probably my failing eyesight. I could use the 18-55 soom, despite its optical deficiencies, since most of the material is probably destined just for web use, but, dunno, just can~t put the G10 down.