In my hometown, the time from the second to the fifth lunar month is the season of small edible snails. Although the snails are small, its meat is very fragrant and delicious.
These days, people in my hometown would gather to catch snails. In order to catch these small edible snails, they have to dive into the river, then rake the soil at the bottom of the river and scoop the snails up. The ones who sit on the boat have to choose and sort the snails.
After that, the snails must be soaked into rice water in a few hours so that they would release all the dirty substance. Then, people would wash the snails until their shells clean and have a white and pink color.
We can make various dishes from small edible snail. The simplest and most popular dish is the dried snails. Wash the snails again to remove all the dirty things, then boil them for a little while and take them out.
When boiling the snails, we should use a little water but be sure to lift the pan up constantly so that they would all be done steadily. If there is too much water, the snails would lose their natural sweet.
Pour oil into a frying pan and wait until it boils, then put the snail in and begin to fry. Adding a little salt, green onion, fresh chili, and some sliced lemon leaves into the frying pan. Stir them all steadily to make the spices absorb into the snails. This dish would taste best when the snails are still hot and fragrant.
Small edible snails are also used to serve with raw vegetable. Mixing small edible snails with banana flower is the best choice. Slice the banana flower into thin thread, and then soak it into diluted salt water to make it white and reduce its acrid taste.
Boil the snails, and then remove all the shells, just keep the meat. Using fish sauce with lemon, garlic and chili to mix with snail meat and banana flower. Add some onion, ginger leaves, a little frying peanut and pepper, and we would have such a wonderful dish. This is also one of the most favorable dishes in my hometown.
One more delicious dish that we can make from this snail is rice pancake folded in half with small edible snail stuffing. This one is also the typical dish of my hometown, Quang Nam. The yellow attractive rice pancake with little pretty snails and a passionate fragrance just make the dish so irresistible.
Another season of small edible snails has nearly ended, and I still miss so much the simple flavor of many wonderful dishes that the poor farmers in my hometown have created from the small edible snails.