We had what I think was a very successful and pretty darn authentic bash at a Bun oc (Vietnamese snail noodle soup) this past weekend. OK – so there was a Vietnamese brain in the kitchen directing things which is a distinct advantage… but the end result not only looked good, it tasted superb with the usual greenery (mint, basil, spring onion, beansprouts) and nuoc mam thrown in. The secret, as with all Vietnamese soups, is the stock. In this case that’s the long cooked pork variety. This was a slightly sweeter rendition of this native northern Vietnamese soup – for soft Europalates. Snails were sold out on the market, so we plumped for clams. Not quite the same, but not too bad either. More photos here. Way more on Bun oc in the archives. Plus, I just spotted a reader posted recipe (thanks Duc Tran 🙂 which I’ve pasted below… Look authentic Andrea???
For: 3-4 persons
– Vermicelli: 1,500g
– Large snail: 1,000g
– Tomato: 100g
– Vegetable oil: 50g
– Vinegar grounds: 200g
– Vinegar: 0.1 litre
– Tamarind fruit: 3-4 pieces
– Pork bone: 300g
– Fish sauce, salt, spices, dried and greenonion, turmeric, garlic, chilly powder or greenchilly, and spicy legumes.
– Leave the snails in the water used to wash rice overnight to purge.
– Chop off the pointed ends of their shells and put the snails in
lime water for about 15 minutes; take them out and remove from their
shells. Wash and clean them with salt, then season them with fish
sauce, crushed turmeric, fat and some vinegar grounds.
– Heat the fat in a saucepan, fry the well-sliced garlic and dried onion, then add the snails and stir.
– Fry the dried onion in boiling fat, add slices of tomato, some
vinegar grounds and boiling water and fried snail sauce to make the
snail soup, just enough for 3-4 bowls, then add the tamarind fruit (its
hard cover already peeled off) and the spices, and boil for 5-10
minutes. Remove from heat and add well-chopped green onion to the soup.
– Heat the fat, then add dried chilly or chilly powder. Stir regularly and then transfer to a little bowl.
– Now, put some vermicelli, part-boiled in hot water into your bowl,
put some snails on it, then pour the snail soup over, complete with
fried chilly and spicy legumes. It should be served hot.