Category: Kai (shellfish).
Season: April and May.
Cockle is one of those rare, classic Edomae sushi treats: it appears on menus at good sushi restaurants in April, and is already off the menus by the end of May – it has one of the shortest shun periods of any tane. It is also one of the rare tane that is dark in color.
Tori-gai can be eaten raw, but typically, chefs will flash boil it for a couple of seconds, as this produces wonderful flavors. The meat is soft, light, and full of sweetness. It is definitely one of my favorite sushi toppings, and is considered by many to be the tastiest shellfish for Edomae sushi.