“Laverbread, or bara lawr as it's known in the local tongue, is a traditional Welsh delicacy. Mainly found clinging to exposed rocks, the seaweed harvested on the West Coast of the British Isles and Southern Ireland. After being gathered, laverbread is thoroughly washed and cooked down until it becomes soft. It is then minced to turn it into a thick black-green paste. If you can’t find laverbread, use chopped nori sheets instead.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (12 votes)


  • 25 g butter
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 400 g cockles, purged (see note)
  • 300 ml white wine
  • generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 2 tbsp laverbread or chopped nori
  • hot crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the butter in a mussel pot or heavy-based saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbling. Add the bacon and stir for 2-3 minutes or until most of the fat has rendered, then add the leek and stir for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the cockles and stir for a couple of minutes or until well coated. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, then add the cream and laverbread and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the pot and shake for 1-2 minutes or until the cockles have opened. Serve in the pot with crusty hot bread for mopping up the sauce.  



• To purge the cockles, place them in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Soak for 1-2 hours, agitating the cockles every now and then to help purge any sand from within the shells.


Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom starts Thursday 14 May 2015 at 8pm on SBS ONE and finishes 2 July 2015. Visit the Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.