This is a traditional Vietnamese snail stew recipe from the capital city, but one where we've applied a little 'regional fusion'.
I had 'bun oc' when I was up in Hanoi, and loved it.
It's perfect to eat as the weather gets colder, so we decided to add the dish to our menu.
I wanted a taste very similar to the Hanoi style, so we aimed at the same flavour and textures, but with a more local Quang Nam consistency.
The Hanoi 'bun oc' has a lot more broth – almost like a soup. The Danang version of the dish has the snails bound in a thicker sauce, with very little liquid.
It's often served with steamed rice in central Vietnam and the herb of choice is 'rice paddy herb' or 'ngo leaf'. The turmeric can also be a little more pungent and intense than up North.
As bun noodles aren't essential to this dish in Danang, its named after the green banana and not the starch it's served with….Oc buou nau chuoi.
Many varieties of snail are eaten in Vietnam.
The snails to use for this dish are called 'oc buou' which are just under the size of a golf ball, and taken from rivers and ponds.
Don't cook the snails too long or they'll get tough and dry out.
We're adding this to the menu for winter at Lifestyle Resort Da Nang.
Come in and try it out if you're in Danang, and be sure to ask for me so I can come and say Hi.
Snail stewed with green banana is a great meal, and the choice of herbs tossed through at the end really makes the dish.
Here's the recipe
Vietnamese snail stew recipe with green banana and betel leaf
snails Oc Buou (blanched in boiling water with fresh slices of ginger)
green banana, ripe, hard, Slice 1cm thick, skin on, blanch 1 min then chill
turmeric root, crushed
lemongrass sticks, lightly crushed
green chilli, cut in half
chicken stock (or water)
fermented rice (rice sourdough) (see under photo #4 for details)
hard tofu, cubed and deep fried
la lot leaves (Betel leaf / piper leaf)
Culantro (sawtooth coriander / ngo gai leaf)
Knorr pork granules
Vietnamese snail stew method
- Heat a thick bottomed stainless pot or pan. Add a little oil.
- Add lemongrass, chopped shallots and whole shallots. Saute 2 minutes.
- Add chilli and crushed turmeric root and a little salt. Saute 2 minutes more
- Add chicken stock and stir well. Bring to a simmer.
- Add blanched green bananas, and bring to a gentle simmer
- Season to taste with fermented rice, salt, sugar, Knorr pork granules and MSG (optional)
- Simmer for 7-10 minutes until bananas are getting tender.
- Add fish sauce to taste
- Now add the blanched snails and the fried tofu.
- Simmer for a couple of minutes, then toss the sliced la lot leaves and ngo gai leaves through the stew.
- Serve with steamed rice or bun noodles.
Appropriate local style condiments to serve with this would be fish sauce, fermented shrimp paste ('mam'), lime wedge and some freshly chopped chilli.
This is the fermented rice used for seasoning the snail dish.
It's very similar to European sourdough, used for making bread, pizza and general baking.
This is made by leaving cooked rice in a little water for 36 hours to ferment, then blend to a smooth paste.
Add this in for a slightly sour flavour, but it also affects the overall body and flavour of the dish in a very positive manner.
It tastes a lot better than the initial smell would indicate.
This step is optional, and you can work around it. This is an authentic recipe however, and over here, this is normally used.