Spicy Korean Sea Snail Salad. What kind of snails are those?! And what does it taste like?
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We are using Sea Whelks. It’s rarely served in Western cuisine. But in Asia, it is quite popular. For example, in Japan, it is served as sushi – blanched, thinly sliced and served on top of rice. In Vietnam, it is served as a topping in a noodle broth (Bún ốc). Here in Korea, it’s dressed in a spicy gochujang sauce and tossed with fresh vegetables – like a salad. This dish is a type of Korean bar food called anju.
So if you are feeling adventurous one weekend, try visiting a Korean mart and buying a can of sea whelks. It’s simple, delicious and bit addictive. Oh… and don’t forget to pour yourself a nice cold glass of beer! Cheers!
Spicy Korean Sea Snail Salad - Korean Anju
Yield 2-3 people
This is a very popular dish at Korean sooljibs (Dining Bars). Sea whelks are diced up and tossed with fresh vegetables in a tangy gochujang sauce. Goes perfectly with a beer!
- Sea whelks (golbaengi) - 1 can
- Onion - 1/2 a whole
- Carrot - 1 whole (length of your hand)
- Cucumber - 1 whole (forearm-length)
- Perilla leaves - 12 leaves
- Spring onion - 1 stalk (forearm-length)
- Purple cabbage - 1 (4 leaves, palm-sized)
- Gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Sea whelk juice - 2 Tablespoon (optional)
- Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) - 1 Tablespoon
- Somyeon (Thin wheat flour noodles) - 2 quarter-sized bundles
- Soy sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame seeds - 1 Tablespoon
- Open can and empty out sea whelks. Save some of the juice for the dressing sauce. Dice each sea whelk into smaller bite-sized pieces.
- Cut onion, spring onion and red cabbage into thin slices. Cut cucumber and carrot into thin half-circle pieces. Take stems off of the perilla leaves. Then roll them and cut into thin slices.
Make Gochujang Sauce
- Take out a mixing bowl. Place-in gochujang, vinegar and sugar and mix it thoroughly.
- Put in minced garlic. Also put in some sea whelk juice (optional)
- Bring a pot of water up to boil. Place noodles in. Wait until the pot starts to foam-up to the surface. Then pour a little bit of cold water into the pot to make the foam settle down. Repeat this process 3x. After the 3rd time, check to see that noodles are fully cooked. Then pour-out noodles into the sink. Wash noodles under cold water. Then set aside in a strainer and drain-off excess water.
- Place noodles into a mixing bowl. Place-in soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds in the noodles. Give it a thorough mix.
Make Salad and Plate
- Take out another mixing bowl. Put in all of the chopped vegetables and sea whelks.
- Pour-in 3/4 of the gochujang sauce into the bowl (add more if you like). Then coat everything thoroughly with your hand.
- Then put in some gochugaru. Give a final stir.
- Put a handful of the salad onto a plate. Twirl noodles around and place them in bundles around the plate. Enjoy!
- If you will use fresh whelks, make sure to boil them first. Here is how to clean them
- Watch video below for more details