This weekend, I am in Denver, Colorado visiting my friend, Steven. My good friends, the Vagabloggers, Josh and Meisha, decided to make a pitstop to Denver on their way up to explore the Northwest. We went to the coolest Asian supermarket here in Denver and found live snails!
Visiting the rice paddy fields in Vietnam and handpicking snails with my cousins is a fond memory that I have of my homeland, so I was super excited at this find.
I haven’t ever seen live snails at a supermarket in the United States. I am sure you can find them in plenty of grocery stores in California – a state full of Asian-Americans, but growing up in Tennessee, we didn’t have access to live snails.
You have no idea how excited I was to prepare snails for my friends. Whenever I visit my family in Vietnam, we always go to the paddy fields, collect snails and then go home to prepare Oc Luoc – Snails that are cooked with ginger and lots of lemongrass and lime leaves. This is the best way to eat snails, and I think it is super delicious. I think if you’re American, it may be a little too weird for you, but the dipping sauce and all the lemongrass masks the natural oddness of the snails. (Make sure you get smaller snails; they are less chewy and easier to eat if you prefer not to taste the snail-ness of them.)
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed cooking it.
The Vagabloggers and I even created a video to show you step-by-step how to cook snails. See me in action! (Check out their blog post on their snail eating adventures!)