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Chinese Periwinkle (Snail) Soup Recipe

Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Labels: , , , |

I have been planning to make some slow-boiled Cantonese soups for a while, and I initially decided to feature winter-melon soup today, however when I checked the melon today, it had already gone bad. So what was I to do, as I already had the spare ribs boiling away merrily on the stove? I remembered that I bought some cooked periwinkle meat and had them in the freezer, so I decided to use that instead and added some wolfberries (gei zi) and threw in some honey dates that I had handy.

Periwinkle is actually a species of snails and are a group of marine snails. Periwinkle meat is very chewy in texture, not too unlike abalone and clams. The periwinkle meat provided a sweet and briny taste to the soup - perfectly complemented with more 'regular' Cantonese soup ingredients like the honey dates and the wolfberries. I am so glad that I did not give up and just threw away my whole pot of spare ribs soup.


The Cantonese also love to stir-fry periwinkle meat with black bean sauce and red chilli peppers which is a popular fiery dish especially in Hong Kong where these snails are cooked on high heat with the shell intact. One has to dig the meat out with either toothpicks and other more inclined diners will suck the meat out of the shells.

Being a huge fan of Cantonese slow-boiled soups, I am ecstatic that I 'discovered' a new soup recipe for myself. As always, do not add water during the boiling process as the resulting watery taste will be impossible to eradicate even with copious amounts of salt - you will just end up with some tasteful salt water!

Cooked periwinkle meat, conveniently sold in packages

1 packet cooked periwinkle meat
1/2 pound worth of pork ribs
Handful of wolfberries (quickly rinsed)
3 honey dates
4 dried cuttlefish, rinsed
Salt, to taste


Firstly, blanch the pork ribs for a quick flash in boiling water. Remove the pork and discard the water. Next, boil about 8 cups of water in a large pot. Once boiling, add the blanched pork and the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Bring to a boil again, and boil for about 4 hours with low heat, checking frequently. Add salt to taste, serve hot.


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pigpigscorner said...

I love slow-boiled soups! Hmm....don't remember having periwinkles. Are they the same as escargots?

Dora said...

Periwinkle meat is a good ingredient for bringing out the "sweetness" in pork ribs soups. :)

Carolyn Jung said...

I bet this has a lot of medicinal properties to it. Chinese soups are always known for that, and this one just looks like it would make anyone feel better no matter what.

Food For Tots said...

My MIL had cooked periwinkle before. Can't find any air-tighted packing at the local supermarket. Your soup looks so tasty!

noobcook said...

I didn't know Periwinkles are snails! I thought it's some kind of flower :P The soup looks really flavourful.

tigerfish said...

Snail soup? Sounds scary

Anonymous said...

i tried in the past and i like it, just keep it up!

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