How To : Peppered Snails | G-CUISINE
Growing up with a maternal side seeded with battalions of tightly knit family members of proud Southern heritage, with origins anchored into the river beds of Rivers, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa states in Nigeria, it was the way of life to eat expertly crafted carnival meals stocked to the bream of family sized bottom black aluminium pots, with a diversity of ingredients and animal assortments in attendance, from periwinkles to nfi (tiny periwinkles in cleaned out shells), stocky gigantic snails to long fractures of smoked kpanla (stockfish), down to fist sized fixtures (until mohammed moved the mountain) of goat, cow and any other meat whose life was greedily taken away, smoked fish, big ‘ole daddy crayfish, prawns, pepper, vegetables, pepper and on special occasions lobster, man! those were the fantabulous old days.
Back from la la nostalgia land (and salivating profusely while putting together this article), for this edition of G-Cuisine, we will be teaching you how to cook peppered snail prepared to perfection, the South-South way! Snails a.k.a Congo meat (for reasons unbeknown to me), is a healthy white meat which is rich in protein. It can be eaten with an assortment of dishes, from serving as the side attraction in native soups, to amping up stew dishes, coupled as the better half with boli or eaten with rice dishes, to even proudly standing alone as the scrumptious one man army vis-a-vis lieutenant general of small chops united, snail is a tasty treat which leaves you licking your lips every single time. You can never go wrong with this one. So whether for a personal well deserved treat or to add some delicious personality to family meal time, this Peppered Snail tutorial will give that satisfied smack to everyone’s lips.
- Habanero Peppers (use discretion)
- Plum Tomatoes (optional)
- Green Pepper ( add yellow and red as well for a prettier peppered snail colour palette)
- Stock Cube
- Vegetable Oil
- Break the shell of the snail with a pestle. Wash the snail with either salt, garri, alum, lemon or lime water till all the slime is removed. ( Skip if you are using pre-washed snails)
- Add the snails, stock cube, pinch of salt and onion chunks into a pot of boiling water and cook for about 25 minutes and then set aside. (Note if it is soft then it wasn’t cleaned well. The texture should be crunchy)
- Blend (or chop if you like) the tomatoes, pepper and onions into a rough paste. The more the habaneros the more the heat!
- Heat up another pot and add the blended paste in. Cook for a while till the water dries out then set aside.
- Heat up a pan and add some vegetable oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and let it sauté. Add the green pepper and fry together.
- Pour in the cooked paste and fry.
- You can then add the stock cube and salt and mix together so that the ingredients infuse together
- Add the cooked snails, add more salt if needed.
- Reduce the heat, let it simmer for a few minutes with the lid of the pot covered.
- Remove from fire and your peppered snail is ready for the massacre.