Published: November 2006

Preparing Barnacles
Chef Ken Oringer of Clio – Boston, MA
Adapted by StarChefs

While barnacles remain largely uneaten and undesired in American cooking, they’ve been used for centuries in Spain’s Basque Country and Galicia. There, Goose Neck barnacles, or percebes, are regarded as a delicacy and eaten with uninhibited gusto. They’re prepared simply and eaten like shrimp, crabs and lobster – in a mild stew or with clarified butter, hot or cold. While Chef Ken Oringer sources his sweet, crab-like barnacles from Chile, he pays homage to the Galician tradition in his treatment of the crustaceans, quickly blanching and serving them warm. For presentation, they’re served on a hot ocean rock, bringing them back home, del mar.

Step 1: Blanch the barnacles for 30 seconds in salted water

Step 2:
Peel down the outer skin of the neck, leaving the meat attached to base

Step 3:
Sauté to warm

Picco Roco
Chef Ken Oringer of Clio – Boston, MA
Adapted by

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2 pounds Goose Neck barnacles
  • 2 gallons water, salted
  • 3 ounces Arbequina olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, fried
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped
  • Pinch of Korean pepper threads
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Pinch of Espelette powder

Blanch the barnacles in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and peel the outer skins of the necks, leaving them attached to the base. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and very gently add the barnacles. Heat them until warm, then add the garlic, chives, Korean pepper threads and lemon. Garnish with Espelette and place on a hot ocean rock to serve.