300 g fresh snails, in their shells; if you can't obtain these, tinned ones are fine
2 lemongrass stems
4 cm (1. inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled
2 long red chillies
6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
Handful of Thai basil
500 ml water
2 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs vinegar
1 red bird's eye chilli, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped lemongrass, white part only
2 lemon leaves, or kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
125 ml water
If using fresh snails, leave them to soak in salted water for 10 minutes, before rinsing under fresh cold water. Repeat this process three times, then set aside. (You won’t need to do this if using tinned snails.)
Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add the water and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
Pound the lemongrass stems using a pestle, to help release their flavour. Chop into 4 cm lengths and place in a saucepan.
Give the ginger and chillies a bit of a pounding, then add to the saucepan with the lime leaves. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Add the snails to the pan, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the snails are tender.
Transfer the snails to a serving bowl and garnish with Thai basil leaves. Serve with the dipping sauce, and with toothpicks to pick the snails out of their shells.
Credits: This is an edited extract from France by Luke Nguyen published by SBS $59.95 is available from Cooked.com.au Signed
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from France by Luke Nguyen published by SBS $59.95 is available from Cooked.com.au Signed