Tuesday, 3 July 2018
Vegan Peppered Snail
A take on a Nigerian favourite without any actual slime or the chopping up of little creatures who just want to mind their business as they chomp through leaves and crawl around in mud?
The Vegan Nigerian: saving one snail at a time. Lol.
Peppered snail is a well-known delicacy in Nigerian cuisine, usually served at parties as appetisers or prepared at home just cos. As a kid, I could never comprehend why anyone would want to eat a snail; the thought of it even now makes me gag a little. But that's just me. Tons of people love the stuff. And so I say, why not consider a version that gives you the same flavour and chewiness but without the grossness? Mushrooms can be earthy and robust and can soak up a ton of seasoning. If you think you'll miss the distinct 'muddy' taste of actual snails though, feel free to chuck in a handful of wet earth into the pan.
I'm joking. And gosh, I probably sound quite snide. Sorry.
For this recipe, I cheated and used the fiery hot chilli sauce by Marie's Little Jar. Although it's not entirely cheating is it, seeing as it contains natural, healthy ingredients. Still, if you want to make your own peppery sauce, it's simple: blend some scotch bonnet peppers with onions and tomatoes to make a thick sauce. Fry in some sunflower oil and allow the sauce to reduce. Season with salt and a vegetable stock cube, and you're good to go.
Re-hydrated dried mushrooms work better than fresh mushrooms in this dish because you get that chewy, rubbery taste.
- Dried mushroom (I used shiitake)
- Sunflower oil
- Red chilli sauce (read above for a quick way to make your own at home)
- Fresh mixed herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and tarragon - use what you have/your favourites)
- Salt, to taste
Soak the dried mushroom in water until soft. (Top tip: quicken the softening process by popping it into the microwave for 5 minutes). Drain, rinse and squeeze out any excess water.
Chop some fresh herbs and set aside.
Heat some sunflower oil in a pan and add the mushroom. Fry until brown and a bit crispy on the outside. Season with salt.
Add a generous helping of peppery chilli sauce to coat the mushrooms. Throw in a handful of chopped fresh herbs. Serve hot or warm.