Peppered Snail: A delicacy for the cold season
Snails, fondly called Congo Meat are a great delicacy when prepared with lots of pepper, snails are great for the cold season.
- 10 medium snails
- 3 or 4 habanero peppers
- 5 plum tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 big stock cube
- 1 cooking spoon vegetable oil
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 onion and toothpicks for serving.
Cleaning the snails
It is so easy to prepare peppered Snails. All the hard work goes to cleaning the snails, once you are done with that, the rest of the preparation is very easy.
Snails can be washed with alum, lemon or lime, I prefer washing with lime oranges…
Alum is also used, but it changes the taste washing with lime, however, removes the slime and still retains original snail flavour.
After washing with lime, plunge immediately into salted boiling water to harden the tongues. If not well prepared by washing with lime and adding straight into boiling water, they become soft like any other meat. To fully enjoy snails, make sure they are crunchy.
Preparing the peppered snails
1. Put the cleaned snails in a pot and pour water to cover them. Add the stock cubes and the onion cut in big chunks.2. Cover and start cooking on medium heat. While cooking, remember to keep topping up the water when necessary so it does not burn.
3. Put the sliced tomatoes, pepper and onions in another pot and start steaming on medium heat until they are soft. Stir from time to time so it does not burn.4. After 30 minutes (for very large snails), the snails should be well cooked. Note that the tongue of the snails are still crunchy even when the snails are done. Remove the chunks of onion from the snails. Increase the heat to high and stir constantly till all the remaining liquid in the pot is absorbed. You don’t want to lose any flavour by pouring away the snail stock. Set it aside.
5. When the water dries from the pepper, tomatoes and onions, add the vegetable oil and fry for about 5 minutes. Stir continuously so it does not stick to the pot and add salt and stir well.
6. Add the cooked snail. Stir very well and add more salt if necessary.
7. That’s it! Leave to cool down a bit, insert toothpicks and serve with onions.
You can serve the peppered snail with jollof rice or white rice or you can snack away at the crunchy delicacy right from the toothpicks with you best-chilled wine.