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Tasty snail dishes in Vietnamese cuisine

Mon, 16 Mar 2015 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:02

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Each kind of snail has its own flavor and each snail stall has its own way to cook snails that makes it different from others. Gourmets, especially fans of snail dishes find it hard to resist the temptation of snail dishes in Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnamese people have many tasty snail recipes. Although they’re simple, they carry the flavor of the countryside. Snails live in many places like ponds, rivers, lakes, fields and the sea. Snail meat is sweet and cool. It’s a source of protein, calcium and iron and therefore, snail dishes are really healthy. Sea snails like “oc mong tay” (razor shell), “oc gai” (thorny snail), “oc mo” (common periwinkles), “oc len” (Cerithidea obtuse) and so on are the most popular kinds of snails that tourists can easily buy in any seafood market.

Snail dishes are quite popular in Halong, Quang Ninh. The sea here is home to many types of snails like “oc huong” (Areola Babylon), “oc tu va” (Triton snails) and so on, each of which is cooked in a different way and has a different flavor. Dishes from these snails go with very delicious dipping sauces. Apart from common ingredients like fish sauce, sugar, ginger and lemongrass, each bowl of dipping sauce is added with some other herb vegetables to have a distinctive taste. In particular, Halong people use pins to remove a snail from its shell. Because the snail body spirals into its inner shell, this tool proves to be the best one.

Areola Babylon is one among the top seafood specialties. The snail is named “oc huong” (fragrant snail) in Vietnamese because it smells like Aglaia duperreana flower. Cooked Areola Babylon smells even more pleasant. The snail shell is yellow-brown and spotted. It looks like Cerithidea obtuse but is bigger with fewer spirals. Areola Babylon meat is crunchy and sweet. It’s cooked in different ways into such dishes as roasted Areola Babylon with salt and chili, grilled Areola Babylon and stir-fried Areola Babylon with tamarind. All of these recipes have amazingly flavors that bring diners special feelings. They’re very popular snail dishes.

Boiled snail with lemon leaves is a familiar dish. Snails of some kinds like “oc van”, “oc mit” or “oc nhoi” of moderate size are the main ingredients of this dish. Fresh snails with good meat and fragrant dipping sauce make up an attractive dish. Boiled snails are almost the same in all stalls but the formula for making the dipping sauce is the key to satisfying diners. Southern people have other ways to cook snails like stir-frying, roasting with salt or frying with butter. These dishes are served with a typical dipping sauce of Saigon and bring diners a brand-new flavor. Just eat the snails with all the juices to enjoy the distinctive taste.

Strombus canarium tastes the best when steamed with lemongrass. The fragrance of lemongrass and snail is irresistible to any diner. The snails retracted into their shells and diners use a pointed toothpick to get them out. We can eat this dish with hot mint, herb vegetables or cucumber. There are many nice razor shell recipes like stir-fried razor shell with tamarind, grilled razor shell with onion and especially stir-fried razor shell with butter, an awesome dish for slightly cold autumn days. Crunchy and sweet snails, tasty butter and piquant seasonings create an appealing dish.

Many diners love roasted Areola Babylon with salt because of its pleasant flavor. Appealing roasted shells covered in salt and chili peppers can really please our taste buds. The salty and spicy snail meat makes the dish irresistible.

Hanoi snail rice noodles are served in many places in the city. The dish has become a typical feature of Hanoi cuisine. A cook needs to master a range of skills to cook this dish well: selecting snails, boiling snails, making rice vinegar, preparing chili pepper powder and fresh chili peppers, cooking the broth, stir-frying snails and selecting the right rice noodles and herb vegetables like perilla mint, Vietnamese balm, julienned banana flower and stripped Vietnamese spinach… All of these ingredients make up a typical dish of Vietnamese cuisine.

Snail spring rolls are the excellent blend of crunchy snail meat soft ground pork and fresh herb vegetables. The amazingly fragrant lolot leaves just make our mouths water. This dish is served with herb vegetables and sweet and sour dipping sauce. You can easily have a nice dish with highly available ingredients and simple cooking method.


Source: VTC10 - NETVIET

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