Big Nigerian snails
How to remove snail from shell
There are various ways to remove snails from shell, 2 of them are described here
- Soak in hot (just boiled) water for a few minutes; stick a fork (preferably 2 pronged) into the snail meat in the shell and draw it out , then wash.
- Cut open the pointed tip of the snail shell with a machete, pass a table knife in through the opening you just cut at the tip ; turn in the knife (push it inward) as if you are opening a door with a key, you will feel the snail loosen off the shell and start to come off the shell from the wide opening, remove the knife. Then pull out the snail meat from the wide opening on the other side of the snail. Be careful with the snail shell while doing this as it is sharp.
How to wash snails
After removing the snail from the shell (using any of the methods above), the next thing to do is remove its guts, the snail gut is a white sac attached to the snail; take it out completely using your fingers. Then using a knife , cut the snail meat open along the natural line you see on it ( this is what gives snails the “butterfly” shape it has after being washed) .
You can then proceed to removing slime and washing the snails clean for cooking, this can be done using any of the following – salt, garri, lime, lemon , alum; you can use a combination of lime/ lemon and alum for easy wash. This is described below.
How to remove snail slime
How to use salt
- Put snails in a bowl
- Pour a lot of salt over the snails in the bowl.
- Massage salt into snails using your hands, you will see the slime come off as you do this.
- Rinse snails thoroughly with water , repeat the process if necessary until the snails are clean.
How to use garri
- Use garri to wash snails the same way is used.
How to lime/ lemon and alum
- Put the snails in a bowl, Cut lime/ lemon into 2 and squeeze out juice over snails into a bowl of water containing snails. Massage the juice into all the parts of the snails. Use the cuts of squeezed lime / lemon to scrub the snails especially the hidden parts.
- Rinse then wash again with alum, concentrate on using the alum especially on the areas the lime/lemon could not reach .
- Rinse thoroughly with water.
How to stir fry snails
- Stock cubes
- Vegetable oil
How to rehydrate dehydrated snails
- Put the dehydrated snails in a deep bowl, boil some water and pour over the dehydrated snails in the bowl, cover the bowl and leave for about 5- 6 hours. You can then season and boil the snails for 5-10 minutes before cooking with your pot of soup or stew.