Limpets: Revisited

I do not like to buy seafood, when it is so readily available and I’ve already paid an arm and a leg for a California fishing license. To that end, a couple posts ago, I talked about my first experiment cooking and eating limpets. I found out that the limpets were too chewy to cook whole. This time, I tried a different recipe that has worked well for whelks in the past.


I collected good-sized bag of limpets, which I have identified as Owl Limpets (Lottia gigantea). As before, I removed the foot and mantle from the shell with a paring knife, discarding the guts.


Here’s the cleaned limpets. Last time, I sauteed them at this point and ended up with a dish which loosely resembled conch-flavored pencil erasers. This time, I did a bit more prep work.


By slicing the limpets into thin strips, I hoped to make them a bit more tender. Once I had them all cut up, I put them in a container with some pepper and oregano, and covered them with lime juice. The acid denatures some of the proteins before cooking so that the meat ends up more tender.

5-Sliced Pile

After several hours, I heated a pan with some oil. I added the limpets, waited for them to cook, and added pineapple chunks and broccoli.


Lastly, I stirred in rice with a good shot of sweet soy sauce to finish up the dish. The results were much better than last time. The limpets were still a bit tough, but very manageable. I think if anything, I’ll let them sit in acid overnight to get them just a bit softer, but no complaints here. The lime juice also gave it a lot of flavor. All in all, a successful culinary experiment, and yet another way to avoid having to buy seafood.


~The Homesteading Hippy

2 thoughts on “Limpets: Revisited

  1. Blayne

    Thanks for writing about these, they look interesting. I grew up in Hawaii where we ate limpets called “opihi”. They were very hard to harvest because they seemed to prefer the most precarious wave battered rock formations so consequently we only enjoyed them on special occasions and celebrations.

    I now live in Long Beach, California and was wondering if they might be found somewhere on the coast near me. Can I ask where you found them? Are they hard to knock off the rocks? I’m curious to fidn out how they compare to the limpets we grew up eating.


    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      They weren’t hard to knock off the rocks, as long as you sneak up on them. Once they know you’re there then they pull themselves tight against the rock, and that makes it almost impossible to pry them loose.


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