Karen’s comment in the Manila Bulletin article below about rice paddy snails reminded me of this delicacy. My mom visited last month to pick up the girls, and while she was here we made a trip to the Chinese grocery store in Raleigh. I have seen these snails there before, but I never bought any because one, I wasn’t sure if they were the right kind and two, I wasn’t sure how I would fix it. She was excited to see these, because she says she hadn’t even seen them in LA. She says they are called “leddeg” in Ilokano. I think they are river snails.
When we got them home, we gave them a good washing and soaked them in water for a while. Mom was glad to see they had prepped them already. Apparently, you have to break or crush the bottom part of each snail, to release the pressure and make the flesh easier to get to once they’re cooked.
These were cooked simply, in boiling water with onions and ginger with a bit of tamarind powder thrown in. My mom liked the soup a lot. I hate that I didn’t think about it, but I probably could have thrown in some pepper leaves for added flavor, and I sure have lots of pepper leaves in the garden. Ah, well, maybe next time.