How to remove slime from snail easily without stress. How to remove snail from its shell without breaking it. How to remove shell and slime from snail easily.

How to Clean/Wash Snails for cooking and Storage.

Snails have a very sticky substance known as snail slime that we must remove before using the snails in our cooking. This slime and removing of slimes makes it stressing and discourages some from cooking it.

The following steps will guide you through the process of cleaning this very delicious and essential Super Seafood.

Tools for Removing Shells from the Snails

✔You will need a blunt object for breaking the shells of the snails.

✔You will need a pointed object to push the snail out of the shell.

Items that removes Snails Slime

1. Salt

Salt has an abrasive property that is why it is used to remove snail slime. Simply pour lots of salt into a bowl of shelled snails. Rub the salt on the snails till the slime is gone. I do not recommend this method especially you are cleaning large quantity of snails, as the abrasive property can affect the hands.

2. Garri

Garri is Nigeria’s grain staple food used in preparing Eba [Swallow], a type of fufu meal. Garri works the same way as salt. Pour lots of Garri grains on a bowl of shelled snails and rub till the slime is gone.

Garri is quite expensive [in most areas] and is essential commodity if you live outside Nigeria so it’s a no-no for me. As a lover of eba, though garri is cheap in Cross River where I am, I reserve mine for swallowing and sipping purposes

3. Lime

The acid in lime juice attacks snail slime and cleans up the snail quickly.

4. Lemon

Though lime and lemon have acidic properties but I found out that lemon is more efficient than lime. Maybe lemon’s acid is more active than that of lime. You can see the slime curdle almost as soon as you sprinkle lemon juice on the snails. Lemon is the most efficient of all the items that remove snail slime especially when you are cleaning a large volume of snails.

5. Alum

This is the most effective of all the items that can remove snail slime. It gives the snails a squeaky clean. It takes a lot of hard work though and it is not as efficient at cutting the slime as lemons especially at the beginning when the slime is still very thick and concentrated.

That is why I use a combination of lemon and alum (efficiency and effectiveness) for a squeaky clean result. Alum is a safe additive to foods but feel free to do your own research before you using it.

There are a few other methods of removing snail slime. For instance, boiled water can be used. The water is poured on the snails but I do not use this method because pouring away the water would be depleting the nutrients that the snails contain and also this method does not give the crunchy sound it produces while chewing.

Though its very fast and effective, it still requires the left over slime to be cleaned using any of the above mentioned items.

How to remove slime from snail
A well cleaned and deshelled snail

Removing Shells from Snails

1. Using the blunt object, hit hard on the snail shells to break up the pointed end of the shell. Then use the pointed tool/utensil to push the snail till it comes off the other end.

Note: If you break the whole shell into pieces, the resulting tiny shells may be stuck on the snail and these are difficult to remove because of the slime. So avoid breaking the shell completely as much as possible.

2. Remove the tiny pieces of shells at the point where the snail attaches itself to the shell. Be careful when doing this because those tiny shells can be very sharp.

3. Remove the snail’s intestines and feel the snail with your fingers to make sure there are no tiny shells left behind.

4. Repeat the process for the rest of the snails and place them in a bowl.

How to Remove the Slime from Snail

1. Cut the lemons into two equal parts and set aside. For 10 big snails, you will need about 3 juicy lemons. I use 20 big lemon to watch 150 snails.

2. While the juice is attacking the slime, use the knife to scrape off the brown stains on the white parts of the snail.

3. Then use the cut lemons to scrub the snails all over till all the slime is gone. Even before you do this, you will notice that the snail slime is no longer that slimy.

4. Bring out the alum ready for use. A piece of alum is enough for 10 snails.

5. When done, rinse and continue with alum. Concentrate on rubbing the alum in the parts where the lemons did not reach. Spread the tongue of the snail and rub the alum in there.

6. When it feels squeaky clean, rinse very well in plenty of water.

7. Cut the tongue of the snail and clean the exposed area with alum.

8. Rinse again in plenty of cool water to remove all traces of alum from the snails. Once you rinse very well, the alum will not change the taste of the snail.

You can now use the snails for Peppered Snail and in Nigerian soups recipes. Also you can go ahead and oven dried snail for long distance travels and for storage.

Are Snails good for your health?

Snail meat contains protein, fat (Mainly polyunsaturated fatty acid), iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, K and Folate.

The high protein, low fat content of Snail meat makes it a healthy alternative food.

Stay healthy, eat snails.

Written by Sunday Ekpa Ido


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