vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

Vietnamese Street Foods: A Guide to Snails on a Plate

vietnamese-street-food-snails-oc-toi-nuong Ốc tỏi (Oxychilus alliarius) conch grilled on a plate

As a true street food lover, you should not miss the opportunity to try snails on your journey to Vietnam, a country with a great culinary tradition. Speaking of snail dishes, Saigon is agreed, by the majority, to be the ideal destination to taste this amazing Vietnamese seafood. While Hanoi’s snails are usually boiled/steamed with lemongrass or lemon leaves, Saigon’s seafood restaurants have diverse ways of cooking that bring out every delicious flavor of the snails and ingredients. This blog will provide you a complete guide into snails on a plate, what to order, how and where to eat them, as well as some notes on food safety.

Snails in Vietnamese Street Foods Culture

In Vietnam, when speaking about snails eating culture, people also means other types of seafood that are also served in snail eateries such as shells, clams, and squids. Nobody knows since when snail-eating has become an irreplaceable part of the “nhau” culture - which in Vietnamese refers to a social gathering that involves eating and most importantly, drinking, in an open and lively atmosphere. Every day, when the evening sets, Vietnamese street food stalls, vendors, and even fine restaurants are packed with couples and large groups of friends, family members, or colleagues. The sight of people gathering around plastic tables to chat and cheer, along with the sound of empty shells clanking on dishes have been familiar to every local and even foreign tourists.

Despite the rapid changes of a developing country, eating Vietnamese snails as the locals’ pastime shows no sign of declining in popularity. Thanks to the fact that snail dishes go wonderfully well with Vietnamese beer, and the acts of plucking meat from the shells, dipping it in special sauce, chewing and taking a sip of cold beer seem to encourage enthusiasm and keep the conversation going. You can still enjoy these delicious snails without drinking alcohol, but it would be better to have a cold beer or Vietnamese rice wine to accompany them.

When eating snails or other seafood in Vietnamese street food stalls and vendors, you should expect using your bare hands to crack the shells open, a bit of the steaming water or sauce ripping on your hands, spattering on your shirt; however, that is why these dishes are called finger-licking good. You will be provided with small forks or toothpicks, but sometimes it is just best to use your hand, or even your mouth to tear and slurp the meat out from the shells. Learning to adapt and to love this yummy delicacy would be a memorable experience of eating like a Vietnamese local.

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!

 

What and How to Order in Vietnamese Snails Restaurants

When coming to a snail eatery, you should order following these three steps.

1) select the type of snail you want, from the pictures in this guide or from the fresh baskets of snails on display (if any).

2) you choose the way it will be cooked (steamed or grilled)

3) and what sauce or flavor or additional ingredients you wish it to be prepared with (tamarind sauce, lemongrass, green peppers, green onions, peanuts, morning glory, etc.)

Seafood restaurants’ chefs and stallholders are very creative in using a lot of ways to make Vietnamese snails that people can hardly resist and keep wanting more. The kinds of snails and shells vary from big to small ones such as mud creeper sea snails, sweet snails, and Asian apple snails. They are steamed, boiled, fried, grilled or even roasted. The dipping sauces go with these dishes also plays an important part in making them special. The typical ingredients to make sauces are coconut (for sweet sauce), tamarind (for sour sauce), butter/cheese (for creamy sauce), chili, ginger, garlic, Vietnamese coriander, and lemongrass.

You may feel overwhelmed by so many choices you can make. These are some popular and favored by locals Vietnamese snails we suggest you try.

Mud creeper sea snails stir-fried in coconut sauce (Ốc len xào dừa)

vietnamese street food snails oc len xao dua

The little snails are fried and dipped in a mild green and rich curry-style coconut sauce. To eat this, you have to slurp on the shell’s hole to take out a tiny soft and skinny snail inside as well as to fully taste the wonderfully sweet and creamy sauce made from coconut milk.
Average price: VND 50,000 - VND 70,000/plate

Sweet snails (Ốc hương) Babylonia areolata

vietnamese street food snails oc huong hap

There are some ways to grill this snail in which lemongrass and a mixture of salt, chili and lime juice are most commonly used. The well-seasoned snail is a bit rubbery, chewy and easy to be taken out of the shell.
Average price: VND 50,000 - VND 100,000/plate

Clams steamed with lemongrass (Nghêu hấp sả)

vietnamese street food snails steamed claims
Average price: VND 50,000 - VND 70,000/plate

Blood cockles stir-fried with chili and onions (Sò huyết)

vietnamese street food snails blood cockles

Pomacea canaliculata (Ốc bươu)

vietnamese street food snails oc buu tieu xanh

Order the snails grilled or steamed

vietnamese street food snails oc hap

Vietnamese grilled mussels (Chem Chép)

vietnamese street food snails oc chem chep mo hanh

Grilled mussels with green onions, oil, and topped with peanuts

vietnamese street food snails oc so long mo hanh

Scallops grilled with spring onions and peanuts (Sò điệp)

vietnamese street food snails oc so diep nuong mo hanh

Average price: VND 50,000 - VND 70,000/plate

Solenidae, also known as Razor shells (Ốc móng tay)

vietnamese street food snails oc mong tay rau muong

Razor shells stir-fried with morning glory or grilled with green onions and peanuts

vietnamese street food snails oc mong tay mo hanh

Canarium snails (Ốc cà na)

vietnamese street food snails oc ca na

Common periwinkle snails (Ốc mỡ)

vietnamese street food snails oc mo xao me

Periwinkle snails stir-fried in tamarind sauce or garlic

vietnamese street food snails oc mo xao mo

Melo melo (Ốc giác)

vietnamese street food snails oc giac rau muong

Giant sea snails, melo melo, sliced and stir-fried with morning glory and ramen noodles

Other Vietnamese Street foods you can get with snails

vietnamese street food snails crab claws

Grilled crab claws

vietnamese street food snails grilled shrimp

Grilled shrimps

vietnamese street food snails chicken feet

Grilled chicken feet with chili dipping sauce

vietnamese street food snails chicken wings

Grilled chicken wings

vietnamese street foods quail egg

Boiled fertilized quail egg with Vietnamese coriander

Where to Eat Snails in Saigon

In Saigon, it is never difficult to find a snail eatery. As a favorite Vietnamese street food and cheap eat, you can easily recognize the street vendors and stalls by the first sight with their familiar display, sound, and atmosphere. Most of them are open from late afternoon until late at night. Here we suggest some famous places where locals go to enjoy Vietnamese snails below.

1. Oc Dao
Address: 212B Alley, Nguyen Trai Street, District 1

2. Oc Oanh
Address: 534 Vinh Khanh Street, District 4

3. Oc To
Address: C218 Xom Chieu Street, District 4

4. Oc Thao
Address: 237/8 Hoang Dieu Street, District 4

5. Oc Loan
Address: 175/26 Nguyen Thien Thuat street, District 3

6. Oc Mam Sua
Address: 282/4A Bui Huu Nghia Street, Ward 2, Binh Thanh District

7. Oc Nhu
Address: 650/4/29D Dien Bien Phu Street, District 3

vietnamese street food snails on grill

Ensure that snails have been thoroughly cooked before consuming

Vietnamese Snails and Food Safety

Snails are aquatic animals, living in mud which means they may contain harmful micro-organisms if they are not cleaned well before processing. Also, the snails need to be cooked thoroughly to meet standards of food hygiene. Therefore, when eating out, you should choose trustworthy restaurants and avoid small and messy street vendors. We only recommend eating snails that have been thoroughly well cooked.

Furthermore, there are some people who should not eat snails such as:

Summary of Vietnamese Street Foods: a Guide to Snails on a Plate

Snails on a plate have been such a favorite and delicious Vietnamese street food for generations. Over the years, the dishes get more and more diverse thanks to the locals’ creativity and learning from other cultures. However, as a foreign tourist, you should always be mindful of food safety matters, potential risks of eating snails in seafood restaurants. We hope that this guide into Vietnamese snails has provided you helpful information.

Read more about Ho Chi Minh Eating:

What to Expect on Your Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Food Tours
15 Vietnamese Street Food Options You Should Try
10 Unusual Vietnamese Foods to Try in Ho Chi Minh
The Best Places to Eat an Authentic Pho in Ho Chi Minh

Copyright

© Written by Linh Nguyen for itourvn.com

216
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 17 September 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.itourvn.com/

 

About itourvn.com

This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Private Ho Chi Minh Tours

private ho chi minh tours

All tours are private, customizable, and led by professional English-speaking guides. For more reference, read our customer reviews or see below for the tour package in Ho Chi Minh that works for you.

Half-day City Tour

Night Tour

Food Tour

Saigon's Other Side

Shore Excursions

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:

 

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guides

First Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City Districts

Local Activities in Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi Travel Guides

First Time in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink in Hanoi

Shopping in Hanoi

Hanoi Districts

Local Activities in Hanoi

North Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Ninh Binh

First Time in Ha Giang

First Time in Ha Long Bay

First Time in Sa Pa

First Time at Yen Tu Mountain

First Time in Moc Chau

First Time in Mai Chau

First Time in Hai Phong

First Time in Cao Bang

First Time in Lang Son

First Time at Bai Tu Long Bay

Central Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Hue

First Time in Hoi An

First Time in Da Nang

First Time in Nha Trang

First Time in Da Lat

First Time in Mui Ne

First Time in Buon Ma Thuot

First Time in Kon Tum

First Time in Phu Yen

South Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in the Mekong Delta

First Time at Con Dao Island

First Time in Vung Tau

First Time at Phu Quoc Island

First Time in Ca Mau

First Time in Can Tho

Powered by 12Go Asia system