Ninh Binh snails cooked in lemongrass and chilli

Ninh Binh snails cooked in lemongrass and chilli

By
From
The Food of Vietnam
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alan Benson

I’ve always wondered if it were the French who introduced eating snails to Vietnam. But the more I think about it, it could just as well have been the Vietnamese who first introduced it to the French, as the Vietnamese eat absolutely anything — if it moves, they’ll eat it! Snails are extremely popular in Vietnam. You will see snail street-food stalls everywhere serving many different varieties, cooked many different ways. This recipe is my favourite — simple, aromatic and delicious. If you can’t get your hands on fresh snails, then the tinned variety are okay to use.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g snails
2 lemongrass stems, bruised and cut into 4cm lengths
6 lemon leaves or regular lime leaves, finely shredded, plus extra, to serve (optional)
2 red bird’s eye chillies, bashed
4 cm knob fresh ginger, pounded to a paste using a mortar and pestle
coriander sprigs, to garnish
red chilli, sliced, to garnish (optional)

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
125ml water
1 red chilli, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, diced
1 teaspoon lemongrass, sliced, white part only
2 lemon or regular lime leaves, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and set aside.
  2. Wash the snails in salted water three times, leaving them to sit in the water for about 10 minutes each time.
  3. Put the lemongrass, lemon leaves, chillies and ginger in a saucepan. Add 500 ml water and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the snails, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the snails and broth to bowls. Garnish with coriander, and the extra shredded lemon leaves and sliced chilli, if desired. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Tags:
The Food of Vietnam
Luke
Nguyen
Red
Lantern
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
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