Sunday , February 25 2024

How to make northern Vietnamese snail stew with green banana and tofu


Vietnamese snail stew, with its crunchy snails, green bananas, and tofu in a savory broth, complements both rice and vermicelli, embodying northern Vietnam’s culinary heritage.

This recipe serves about 4 to 5 people, takes approximately 50 minutes to prepare, and provides around 2,110 calories in total.

Ingredients

– 1 kilogram oc nhoi (pila conica) or oc mit (midas ear cassidula)

– 200 grams pork belly

– 6 green bananas

– 3 tofus

– 3 tablespoons me (fermented rice)

– 3 teaspoons turmeric powder (or 1 fresh turmeric)

– 2 shallots

– Spices: Fish sauce, salt, shrimp paste, stock powder

– Herbs: Scallions, perilla, betel leaves

– Lime juice

Instructions

1. Preparation

– Start by soaking the snails in rice water in a metal basin with a few slices of chili, which expedites the mud release. Alternatively, rice flour can be used for a similar effect.

– Boil the snails for a minute from when the water boils, stir to loosen the operculum, then remove it.

– Extract the meat, eliminate the black intestines, and wash.

– Filter the water used to boil the snails to get a clear broth for later use.

After extraction, the snail meat is revealed, displaying its black and tan colors. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

After extraction, the snail meat is revealed, displaying its black and tan colors. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

– Filter the fermented rice through a sieve to achieve a smooth consistency.

– Create a turmeric mixture by adding turmeric powder with half a cup of water. You can add a bit of vinegar or lime juice to maintain the bright color by slowing down color loss through their acidity.

The filtered fermented rice presents as a creamy white, contrasting with the orange hue of the turmeric juice. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

The filtered fermented rice presents as a creamy white, contrasting with the orange hue of the turmeric juice. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

– Peel and chop 4 bananas, soak them in diluted lime juice to prevent discoloration.

– In some recipes, the peels are stir-fried and then braised with the bananas for an extra flavor layer.

– Marinate these bananas with a teaspoon of fish sauce, half a teaspoon of salt, half of the fermented rice, and half of the turmeric mixture.

Soaking bananas in diluted lime juice helps retain their clean color on the inside. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

Bananas are soaked in diluted lime juice to retain their clean color on the inside. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

2. Cooking process

– Boil the remaining bananas, peel and then blend them with water to form a smooth paste. This adds thickness to the dish without needing tapioca starch.

The banana puree is smooth and creamy. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

The banana puree is smooth and creamy. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

– Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces, and fry them until crispy.

The fried tofu showcases golden brown edges all around. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

The fried tofu showcases golden brown edges all around. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

– Cut the meat into chunks of 1 centimeter each.

– In a hot pan, fry the pork until browned.

– Season the pork with a tablespoon of fish sauce, a teaspoon of shrimp paste, half a teaspoon of stock powder, half a teaspoon of pepper, and the remaining fermented rice and turmeric mixture.

– Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes.

The stir-fried pork belly displays a shiny golden hue, a result of the turmeric juice. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

The stir-fried pork belly displays a shiny golden hue, a result of the turmeric juice. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

– Saute shallots in oil, add the marinated pork, sliced bananas, banana puree, snail broth, and boiling water sufficient for the number of servings planned.

– Bring the pork pan to a boil, then simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until the meat softens and the sauce thickens.

– Add the snails and fried tofu, braise for an additional 4-5 minutes.

– Season to taste and garnish with scallions, perilla, and betel leaves before turning off the heat.

In the pot, tofu pieces float amidst slices of green banana and snails. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

In the pot, tofu pieces float amidst slices of green banana and snails. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

3. Finished product

A bowl of snails stewed with green bananas and tofu, featuring a rich green herb-speckled broth. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

A bowl of snails stewed with green bananas and tofu, featuring a rich green herb-speckled broth. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

This dish features crisp snails and tender bananas in a rich, smooth broth. It makes a perfect pairing with vermicelli or white rice when served hot.

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