Ginataang Kuhol (Escargot In Coconut Milk)
Since that “to die for” moment in 2008 eating baked escargot at a Paris family-owned restaurant, the thought of preparing this delectable appetizer at home on a regular basis has not escaped my mind. Living in California, it has been a challenge finding edible snails in supermarkets or grocery stores.
Now that I’m back in my hometown of Baguio City, a short trip to the city’s public market would get me unlimited quantities of live snails. Vendors don’t always display the snails in the open; you have to ask for them.
Who needs to go to a French restaurant for a small plate of expensive escargot, when I can have a dozen of it at my beck and call, for a fraction of the price?
1 lb edible snails
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 thumb ginger, peeled and julienned
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
3 red Thai chillies
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced green onions for garnish
2 tbsps Olive oil
Soak live snails in water for 2-3 hours, constantly draining and change the water. Using the side of a kitchen knife, tap on the pointed edge of the snails until it breaks. Wash the snails until you rid of all small shell debris. Drain and set aside.
Heat Olive oil on a large pan. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add in onions and chillies and continue cooking for about two minutes. Add in the snails and cook over high heat. The snails will render water. Continue to cook until most of the water has evaporated. Add in the coconut milk and continue to cook over medium heat, uncovered, until almost dry.
Remove from heat and garnish with green onions before serving.