Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sauteed Snails in Coconut Milk (serves 1-2)

sauteed snails in coconut milk
My parents came for a visit and I took them out on a drive along the coast of New Hampshire. It was a beautiful day with a warm sea breeze and we stopped at various places to enjoy the view. At one spot we climbed down some huge rocks and were lucky to harvest some snails attached on the rocks as the tide was coming in. My father and I quickly collected about 3 pounds of these snails known as periwinkles or winkles and dog whelks. I normally take only the periwinkles (the darker ones) but my father was picking everything including the dog whelks (lighter color ones)! I prefer to eat the periwinkles as the meat is tender and tasty. The dog whelks are a bit slimy even for me. Once home I took about half and gave the other half to my parents to take back home. I soaked my portion for several hours, washed them in salt and rinsed multiple times before boiling for roughly 5 minutes. Since they are already cooked I quickly sauteed them with coconut milk. I don't think many people eat the dog whelks but I want to write and tell you that I survived eating them! Do check for red tide in your area if you are planning on eating the dog whelks.

Here is some information from Maine Sea Grant, Maine Seafood Guide - Periwinkles & Whelks. The Downeast whelks that are mentioned in this guide are not the same as these dog whelks. The Downeast whelks are larger and found deeper in the ocean. The dog whelks are found along the shores. Check out my Escargot in a Garlicky-Butter-Wine Sauce for photos of the Downeast whelks. Here is a link on What is a red tide?

Sauteed Snails in Coconut Milk (serves 1-2)


2 tsp corn or vegetable oil (may use another oil that you prefer)
1 large garlic cloves, smashed, chopped
About 1.5 lbs of periwinkles and dog whelks (snails), boiled for about 5 minutes, drained
1/4 cup of coconut milk
About 1/2 tsp fish sauce
About 1/4 tsp sugar
A few sprigs of Chinese chives, chopped


In a medium sized pan heat oil. Add garlic and saute roughly a minute. Add the snails and coconut milk. Saute about a minute. Season with fish sauce and sugar. Turn off heat and add the chives.

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