Snails, a dish from the countryside to the trendy

Snails, a dish from the countryside to the trendy

ANTD.VN – Decades ago, people still thought that crabs and snails were cheap, rural and poor things. At that time, it was only meat and fish that was luxurious, precious, and delicious. The trays then followed the formula “3 bowls 7 plates” with all meat and meat, adding a plate of vegetables to it was… inferior. Yet, looking back, life is so changeable. Fish meat is now back to normal, tiny crabs and snails have become specialties…
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Memories of snails and duckweed

About 30 years ago, when Hanoi did not have many high-rise buildings, ponds and lakes were full, it was very simple to shovel stuffed snails in the pond, absolutely not “fairy” like now. Not raising, not releasing anything, but stuffed snails a lot. Whenever you eat jackfruit, you just need to put the fiber on the duckweed under the pond, overnight, lift it up and you will get a bunch of delicious snails. Sometimes, there is no need for a jackfruit, sad summer noon, take the basket to the bank of the pond, throw a few times into the roots and then quickly lift it up. Each time like that, sometimes there are a few snails, a few crabs. Going around the pond is enough snails, enough crabs to cook a bowl of soup for dinner.

I was originally from a village by the West Lake, but was born and raised in Nga Tu So. When I was 8 years old, my grandmother passed away, the whole family moved from Nga Tu So to my hometown to take care of the house, smoke incense for my grandparents, I started to get used to life in the village. Seeing the neighborhood children carrying baskets to shovel snails and crabs deliciously, they also itch to imitate. The first time I shoveled crabs, I had a bit of “light confusion”, instead of using a bamboo basket, I took an enamel pot. Bend down to scoop up a basin full of duckweed and water. Lifting it up feels heavy, trying so hard that both the body and the pot tumbled into the pond. Fortunately, at that time, the houses were only separated by a fence of trees, and there was nothing on this side of the house that the other side could see. The neighbor heard an “um…” one, immediately guessed that something was not good, so he quickly ran to pick me up, then kicked one for mischief. Of course, That night, I went home to eat a full meal because there was a ban on going to the pond when my parents went to work. After the first mistake, the next time with more experience, I completely forgot the advice to continue carrying the basket to the pond to catch crabs and snails. Of course, after shoveling, they drop it, but bringing it back to show it off is like a criminal surrendering.

Once upon a time,

Back then, screws were usually only for boiling, but boiling with pomelo leaves was the best. The dipping sauce has more lemon leaves, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chili … after boiled, I will call my neighbors to come along. Happy sitting, sometimes the whole basket is empty. If it’s too much to eat, take out a bowl to cook in the afternoon or the next day, cook vinegar soup, more luxurious, cook vermicelli. In addition to boiling, stuffed snails are also used to cook snail vermicelli, add braised banana beans and most especially steamed ginger leaves. Just that simple, later on, the cuisine developed into countless other delicious dishes.

Crab soup cooked with vinegar is the most delicious, if not, it can also be cooked with vertical fruits or sour ears. But only snail soup, especially snail noodle soup, must have vinegar, cooked with any kind of sour fruit, it will be lost. Snail juice is considered to be pale, but when combined with stomping, it is extremely delicious. The procedure to cook snail noodles is very simple to say the least. Because besides snails, vinegar, spring onions, dried onions, perilla, raw vegetables and vermicelli, there is nothing else. But, with so many ingredients, the process of cooking a delicious, standard bowl of snail vermicelli is extremely difficult. Some people learn to cook all their lives and still can’t taste it.

Snails, dishes from rural to trendy photo 3
The ingredients for braised banana bean snails are quite complicated, but cooking seems easy. Stuffed snails (or unshelled screws) can be processed according to individual taste in 2 ways. The first way is to boil it up, marinated snail intestines, turmeric, fish sauce. Snail boiling water is filtered to remove residue, set aside. Method 2 is to make live snails by using a knife to chop the snail’s burying part, remove the intestines, wash, marinate, turmeric, salted fish sauce. Snails are stir-fried with sliced ​​green bananas (previously the bananas need to be boiled to prevent darkening), baked (or fried) beans, sliced ​​pork belly, a little filtered batch, crushed turmeric and filtered water. … then just pour water over it, cook until the ingredients are combined. Season to taste, then add the scallions, perilla, and bay leaves.

In the snail dishes of the past, the steamed snail with ginger leaves was considered the most classy dish. Snails are diced, mixed with raw ham, eardrums, shiitake mushrooms…. the ball is round. The snail shell has been cleaned, each snail’s mouth has a ginger leaf, gently press the ginger leaf to penetrate deeply, then place the raw pork ball mixed with snail meat inside, then steam it with water. Cooked snails are arranged on a plate, when eating, hold the two heads of ginger leaves and lift them up.

Variations today

Now it’s very easy to buy a batch of stuffed snails, but it’s extremely difficult to be “standard” snails rather than farmed snails. Snails are not cheap, delicious ones are also 130-140 thousand VND/kg. Along with ready-to-eat live snails, from the market to the supermarket, all kinds of snails are sold by weight, priced at about 80-90 thousand VND/kg.

Also back to the past, about 20 years ago on Phu Dong Thien Vuong street, there were famous snail spring rolls and snail rolls. Apparently, it’s the first shop in Hanoi that sells snail spring rolls. In those days, there was no social network, the concept of “trend” or “trend” absolutely did not exist. People simply call it fad, snail spring rolls, snail rolls are a form of eating in fashion. Snail spring rolls include raw spring rolls (or minced lean meat), diced snails, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, vermicelli, raw eggs… all rolled in rice paper rolls and then fried. It is just like the traditional spring rolls in appearance, eaten with raw vegetables, dipped in sweet and sour fish sauce.

Cha snail is a version of snail steamed with ginger leaves, but it does not have ginger leaves but is fried like fish ball. Grilled snails are wrapped in foil and then grilled, or steamed, or mixed with raw pork, minced meat, then fried and grilled with bay leaves. Most recently, there is a style of snail cake with bamboo tubes, ie snails mixed with raw pork, minced meat, wood ear, shiitake mushrooms and lemongrass leaves, stuffed inside the bamboo tube. When eating, steam it and then lift the 2 ends of the lemongrass leaves to get the ball out of the tube. A similar version developed from snails steamed with ginger leaves?

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