I just don’t want to look back and think “I could have eaten that.”

Eating in Houston 2 – Snail Eating “ăn ốc”

One of my favorite things to do is veg out and watch food vlogs on YouTube. Some of my favorite episodes involve YouTubers that travel to Vietnam and eat snails or ốc.

In Vietnam they have these restaurants that are dedicated to snails and shellfish, which I happen to think is an amazing combination. I LOVE shellfish and have only had escargots once, but the thought of having a meal made up on different types of snails and shellfish sounds awesome to me.

Well, in Houston there is a restaurant called One Hot Pot & Grill that I found on Yelp that has snails on their menu. I thought to myself- this is it. You’re finally going to get to try out some ốc! Despite my stomach issues I was super excited.

One Hot Pot & Grill had a large selection of snails and shellfish on their menu and it was hard not to order all of them. My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach that night. My sister and I treated it like a once in a life time experience and just ordered what we wanted.

These are grilled ark shells with crispy shallots and green onions. It really reminded me of blood cockles, which I absolutely love. It came with salt and pepper, chili paste, lime and fish sauce for added flavor. The grilled ark shells were really good. I wished that I had some Thai “seafood sauce”, which is mostly made from lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and Thai chilis. It would have put this dish over the top.

This was the grilled cherry stone clams which was prepared the same way as the ark shells. I didn’t realize they were pretty much the same dish just with different shellfish. These clams were pretty good, but a little too chewy. I’m not sure if it was because it was over cooked or if that’s how they normally are.

This dish was one of the ones that I was most excited to try. I see food vloggers eating this in Korea, Japan, Vietnam and pretty much all over that part of the world. I’ve never tried it so I was really looking forward to it. This is a type of sea snail. I do not know what the name of it is, but in order to eat it you have to carefully pull the little critter out of it’s windy shell.

Here is the sea snail out of it’s shell. It’s pretty big and looks off putting, but you know that it went right into my mouth. I’m not sure if I can describe what it tasted like. It had a neutral taste to it. It did have it’s own unique flavor, but it was really mild. All you’re getting is the texture which was soft and slightly chewy. I really liked this sea snail and enjoyed dipping it in the fish sauce that came with it. The sauce was pretty much where all the flavor came from.

The last snail dish that I wanted to share with you was by far the best one. This is Ốc len xào dừa or mud creeper snails in a coconut curry sauce. You eat these snails by sucking them out of their shells, which is not the easiest thing to do by the way. I’ve been told that there is a technique to getting the snails out. I didn’t know the technique so I kind of had a hard time. Some were easier than others to suck out and some wouldn’t budge. There were a couple of times that I become light headed from trying to get the meat out. 🙂

The coconut sauce was so good. It reminded me of Thai green curry. It wasn’t as spicy and did not have the aromatics, but it did remind me of it.

So, that was my snail eating adventure. I ate so much my stomach was going to explode. Even though I was still suffering from that irritating stomach virus I ate like I was at 100%. An hour after dinner I did not feel all that great, but that’s a story for another time!!!

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