Ginataang Kuhol (Spicy Escargot Snails in Coconut Milk)

In my visit to Paris in 2008, two meals made lasting impressions on me: crépe breakfast and escargot appetizer for dinner.  The latter I had in an obscure family-owned restaurant in the outskirts of Paris.  Back in the Philippines, I have been occasionally treated to intimate family dinners that included a dish of snails (kuhol in Tagalog and bisocol in Ilocano) cooked in coconut milk.  So as I continually craved for escargot, I thought it would be great to cook a meal that combined my French and Filipino experiences  with the lowly but delicious snails.

Unfortunately,  I have found it difficult to find fresh snails in markets or grocery stores in the San Francisco Bay Area — until I found canned snails on the shelves of a newly-opened grocery store in San Francisco’s gay Castro district!  The canned snails – minus the shells — is a product of Indonesia and packed for a New York-based American food corporation.

 

Ingredients:

2 cans, 7.75 oz., Roland escargot snails, drained

1 cup long green beans, cut into 2-inch slices

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup water

1 tbsp garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp onions, peeled and chopped

1 small jalapeño or serrano pepper, thinly sliced

1 tbsp shrimp paste

1 tbsp canola oil

Directions:

In a medium wok, heat oil

Add garlic, onions, ginger and shrimp paste.  Saute for 2 minutes

Add snails and water

Bring to a boil

Reduce heat and add long beans and coconut milk

Simmer and add peppers

Remove from heat and serve in a soup bowl

(Makes 2-4 servings)

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