Guide to Eating Snails In Vietnam

Guide to Eating Snails In Vietnam

Eating snails might be somewhat strange for some people, but in countries like Vietnam, snails are actually considered a popular delicacy. In fact, in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, a lot of restaurants would serve different kinds of snails cooked in various ways.

Most Vietnamese love snails, not only because they are very delicious, but also because they are highly nutritious. Just like the seashells, snails are rich in protein, iron, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. The snails are a wonderful dish served during social gatherings in Vietnam and shared with friends and family. It tastes even great when paired with a bottle of ice-cold beer. So here’s your guide to eating snails in Vietnam.

What Dish To Order

As mentioned, there are different types of edible snails in Vietnam and they are cooked in many different ways. So when you order it, you need to specify what you want and how you want it cooked. Here are some of the most delectable Vietnamese dishes made of snails:

  • Oc Huong – this refers to small sweet snails with a unique sweet flavor and firmness. These snails are cooked in various ways. You can have it roasted and grilled with garlic or steamed with ginger. But one of the most popular ways to cook these types of snails is to roast them with salt and served with a spicy chili sauce.

  • Oc Ca Na – these are sea snails sautéed with spicy butter, which is among the tastiest of all snail dishes in Vietnam. If you love spicy foods, then this is a must-try. The snails are cooked in spicy butter, which turned out to be truly appetizing because the combination of decadent butter and spice is just perfect!

  • Oc Len – this dish consists of sea snails that were sautéed with coconut. This is very popular among locals, thanks to its delicious creamy taste. Traditionally, locals would use their hands to pick the sea snails and harvest the small piece of meat inside the shell. Others would suck the shell directly to savor the sweet and creamy coconut juice. The meat of the snail is chewy and tastes great, thanks to the richness of the coconut flavor.

  • Oc Mo – these are sea snails sautéed with garlic. To cook this dish, the snails are first boiled along with some lemongrass stalks. Then the snails are left to dry. After which, the snails are cooked in oil and some minced garlic, then a spoonful of cashew nut oil and sugar are added. This dish is usually eaten on its own and a great accompaniment to an ice-cold beer.

Where to Eat Snails in Vietnam

So now that you have an idea on what to order when eating snails in Vietnam, below is a list of some of the best restaurants that serve delectable snail dishes in Vietnam.

  • Oc Dao – located in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh, at the Nguyen Trai Street, Oc Dao is famous for serving delectable snail dishes. Aside from snails, the restaurant also serves other delectable Vietnamese dishes that are worth a try. Currently, the restaurant has three branches in Saigon but the most popular of all is the one in Nguyen Trai Street.

  • Oanh Snail in Ham Long Street – this street side eatery in Hanoi is located opposite the Ham Long Church. This place is very popular among locals because the food here is not only tasty but very affordable too. They serve different kinds of snails, although the most popular in their menu is the snail bowl that’s cooked in pickled pepper, salt, lemongrass, and some lemon-scented leaves. What’s more, it’s served with a delectable sweet and salty sauce.

  • Ốc Chị Lệ – located in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District, this is another street stall that’s known for serving Vietnamese snail dishes. The stall has a diverse menu, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Aside from the different bowls of snails, they also serve spring rolls, clams, fried sweet potatoes, and so much more.

  • Oc Thao – this is a popular restaurant in Ho Chi Minh that is said to be among the first few restaurants that started serving snails. Here, they have a wide range of snail dishes that will only cost you 25,000 to 35,000 VND per serving. It’s a great place to dine with friends and family, thanks to its cozy ambiance. Plus, you get to order a bottle of beer with your snails too, although they only limit it to two bottles per customer.

  • Oc Oanh – another great restaurant in Ho Chi Minh that serves mouthwatering snails is the Oc Oanh, which is located in the Vinh Khanh Street of District 4. This place is also a haven for seafood lovers because aside from serving snails, they also have a wide selection of delectable seafood dishes. Since this place is very popular among locals, you sometimes have to wait to be served. But you would not mind the long wait once you tasted their delicious dishes!

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