When you hear 'snails' what comes to your mind? Do you feel like 'Yuck, those slimy, crawling nuisances!' or are you like 'Oh, yummy!'
Well, for the first category of people. Maybe I will successfully change your mind about snails today, right? And for those who are already into the 'system', c'mon, let me let you in on five different ways you can even step up your 'snail game'.😅
Snails are not just the crawly little animals that you sometimes find in the wet areas of your gardens. They are a delicacy. They have a meaty texture on the outside, are moist inside and take on the flavor of whatever sauce they’re cooked in in general.
Do they offer any nutritional values? Oh sure! You'd even be so shocked at how much snails can be so nutritive. Let me show you:
NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF SNAILS
Although the protein content found in snails is similar to that of pork and beef, snails come with a much lower fat content. That's a good one, if you ask me.
Additionally, snails are also good sources of iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and a number of other minerals. And you know what these do to your body, right?
Eating snails improves Anemia: One serving of snails contains 22% of your recommended daily allowance of iron! Incredible!
It Improves Heart Health: Snails are a good source of Omega 3, not just fish alone! And Omega-3s are known to improve heart health and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease. They also help lower your blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, and keep your heartbeat steady.
HOW DO YOU WASH SNAILS?
In Nigeria, the African giant snail is the most common type of snail eaten. How do you wash this extra-slimy animal?
One, break the shell. Two, remove the meat. Three, wash off the slime. The slime is removed using lime, salt, alum or Garri. All you do is pour some water over them all and start scrubbing each with alum out into a bowl of cleaner water.
You can still wash a second time with diluted warm alum water until the snails are free from the slimes.
The snail sellers at the market can also help you (with a fee) even though you would still have to do a thorough rinse at home. Frozen snails that have been prewashed and ready to cook are also sold in grocery stores around, even though they are pricier.
So, after getting your snail meats ready, how do you turn them into delicious meals? Let me tell you five different ways you can enjoy your snails from today'
FIVE MEALS YOU CAN PREPARE WITH SNAILS
In Nigeria, snails are often referred to as “congo meat” while the Efik people call it “Ekwong” and in Yoruba it is “Igbin.”
SNAILS SMALL CHOPS
The first meal I will show you how to make is the peppered snails small chops. Isn't that yummy already to your ears? Instead of swallowing up the extra fats of floury, buttery and oily small chops, snails can be very good alternatives. How do you make them?
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING PEPPERED SNAILS SMALL CHOPS
Get your ingredients ready. You will need:
- 4 big snails
- 6 finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper
- 2 finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 slice of green bell pepper
- Two seasoning cubes
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
HOW TO MAKE PEPPERED SNAILS SMALL CHOPS
Put your snails in a pot, add some water to cover it up. Add salt, a seasoning cube and some chopped onions. Cook until soft (when your fork can enter conveniently into it), then drain from the stock and set aside.
Heat a pan of oil and fry the snails for just three minutes. Bring out the fried snails and set aside.
Pour the rest of the onions into the oil and saute till translucent. Add the peppers and tomatoes. Fry for 2 minutes then add salt, seasoning and some curry powder.
Add the hot fried snail and continue stir frying for 1 minute. Afterwards, leave for 4 minutes and turn off heat.
Your peppered snails snack is ready! Serve with cold drinks.
What other meal can you prepare with the SNAILS? Pepper Stew of course! Come, let me show you. It isn't your usual way of making stew.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING DELICIOUS SNAIL PEPPER STEW
- 6 big clean snails, cut in halves
- 4 cups of a tomatoes/ pepper/ onion blend
- 1 large Onion
- 1 tablespoon Curry powder
- Pepper to taste
- 1 yellow Cameroon Pepper
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- Chicken seasoning to taste
- Salt to taste
HOW TO MAKE DELICIOUS SNAIL PEPPER STEW
Put the clean snails in a pot and season with salt, curry powder, chopped onion, and Cameroon pepper. Pour in roughly 1/2 cup of water just to make it simmer.
Turn off the heat after five minutes.
Cut the onion into rings and sauté in hot oil.
Fry the tomato mixture until all of the liquid has evaporated and the tangy taste has been diminished. (To get an even more spicy sauce, add lots of pepper to the stew. Your level of tolerance will determine the pepper intensity you choose.)
Add the snail stock and continue to simmer the stew until oil begins to come afloat the stew. Taste your stew to ensure the tanginess is off.
The stew is ready after you add the extra curry powder, add the snails and extra onion cuts and simmer for five more minutes.
You can have this stew with plain boiled rice, some vegetables and fried plantains.
Unto the next! What else can we prepare with snails?
That'd be pepper soup! Yes, snail pepper soup!
SNAIL PEPPER SOUP
This pepper soup is not as common as other types of Nigerian pepper soup. But this type of pepper soup is a banger. Nutritive, luxurious, delicious and unique!
INGREDIENTS FOR PREPARING SNAIL PEPPER SOUP
- 8 Big Snails cut into halves.
- 1 small onion
- 2 seasoning cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon palm oil
- 1 teaspoon Uziza powder
- Scent Leaves (optional)
HOW TO MAKE NIGERIAN SNAIL PEPPER SOUP
Put your clean snails into a pot and add just enough water to cover them up. Add onions, salt, pepper and seasoning cube and cook until the snails are almost tender.
Stir and cook until forks can easily penetrate into your snail meat.
Serve on its own or with rice, Agidi (Eko, corn pudding) etc.
Now to the fourth meal you can prepare with snail meat:
That doesn't sound right?
Haha, of course it does not only sound right, it tastes right. Let me show you how to make this yummy one for your family.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING SNAILS SALAD
-6 clean snails, cut into halves
-Half thinly sliced cabbage
-Thinly sliced celery
-1/2 chopped onion
-2 tablespoons vinegar
-1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
-3 finely chopped garlic
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-1 teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1 well grated carrot
HOW TO MAKE SNAILS SALAD
Place the clean snails in a stockpot and cover completely with cold water. Boil over high heat and reduce to a steady simmer. Continue cooking till soft enough for a fork to pierce through easily.
Strain and slice the cooled snails as thinly as possible and place in a medium bowl.
Add the celery, cabbage, carrots, and onion into the bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the snail mixture bowl. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, if necessary.
Toss together to coat well. You can add some mayo if you want or you can enjoy this alone with some rice.
And lastly before I lead you out of the My Sasun kitchen into your own kitchen, haha, let me introduce to you, the special SNAIL DODO delicacy!
You must have heard about, eaten or prepared Gizdodo before, right? So, this is an extension of that delicious snack.
You only need some peppered snails, fried plantains (dodo), diced green peppers and nicely chopped onions. That's all.
HOW TO MAKE DELICIOUS SNAIL DODO
So, first of all, make your peppered snails. You can follow the recipe for the peppered snail small chops above.
Choose your plantains carefully – some like really ripe, others like just-ripe.
Dice the plantains nicely and fry.
Add the onions and green peppers into the peppered snail sauce.
Then add the fried plantains
Gently stir and let it simmer for a minute or two
Enjoy it with lightly salted white rice. Yummy yummy!
These are five unique meals I have shared with you which you can make with snails. I trust you enjoyed the blog. Which of these have you eaten before and which of them are you going to try? Let me hear from you in the comments below.