chapter V

when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs

made in MyKitchen | balitong masak lemak / snails in coconut milk

i’ve never been a fan of balitong (a type of local snail) ever since i can remember.. neither is hubs.. it’s a hassle to prepare, AND a hassle to eat too.. those two factors taken into account, we always wonder why and how countless others can enjoy this slimy and stinky gastropod.. if there’s anything that i really loathe to prepare or even have in the kitchen, it has to be balitong.. as mentioned, they’re really slimy and if you take a close sniff, they’re really stinkos.. but then again, all edible snails are.. even the ones used for the French escargot dish.. nope, will never, ever have that again.. :???:

i’m not trying to discourage anyone from eating these supposedly exotic edible creatures in any way.. by all means, keep on enjoying them if you do.. i just prefer them in my aquariums instead of on my plate~ :mrgreen:

so, anyway, i was looking through my old home cooked food album in Facebook and came across a photo of this dish and i realized i haven’t included it in the blog yet, like a lot of other dishes in the album as well.. i very rarely buy balitong (what, once every few years?) to cook, and i think this is going to be the only entry on balitong in this blog..

balitong, just like all snails and clams, is best cooked fresh the very same day it’s bought.. make sure to rinse the snails multiple times in clean water to get rid of dirt or any unwanted debris.. to prepare, the most important thing is to chop off a part of the pointy end of the shells.. this is done so that it’ll be easier to suck the meat out from the shell to eat.. oh, and the flat, round, transparent disc-like thing attached to the head? don’t eat that.. it can easily get lodged or stuck anywhere in your mouth or throat, giving you a very unpleasant meal experience you’ll never forget..

there are, of course, plenty of ways to cook balitong.. the recipe below is for a balitong in coconut milk stew.. for this recipe, i like to use plenty of kaffir lime leaves, to mask the stink from the snails..

BALITONG MASAK LEMAK/SNAILS IN COCONUT MILK

Ingredients :

  • fresh balitong/sea snails

  • fresh coconut milk
  • garlic and shallots, finely crushed

  • lemongrass, slit midlength
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • tamarind peel
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • sea salt
  • palm sugar

Method :

  • using a cleaver, chop off a bit of the balitong pointy ends. when done, rinse all the balitong well to rid of tiny pieces of crushed shell. set aside

  • in a pot, heat up a bit of oil and saute crushed garlic and shallots and turmeric powder until fragrant

  • pour in coconut milk and add in lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind peel, sea salt, palm sugar and ground black pepper

  • taste as you cook. add more sea salt or palm sugar if needed
  • when the coconut milk comes to a slow boil, add in balitong and stir well

  • turn the heat off when the balitong is cooked
  • serve, and enjoy

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2 comments on “made in MyKitchen | balitong masak lemak / snails in coconut milk

  1. missreverie
    Thursday ~ July 11, 2013

    Yum!! I grew up eating balitongs. Haha, but it’s been a while since I had them. If you think too much about the snail’s anatomy/scent, it’s definitely going to put you off from eating it. Prepping these snails while they’re still alive is just not going to happen for me. But wow, you did it yourself! Respect! hehe

    • whytevee
      Thursday ~ July 11, 2013

      i agree.. without the stink it would’ve been much more enjoyable.. well a cook’s gotta do what a cook’s gotta do~ hehehe

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