Melo melo (Vietnamese: ốc giác) is a very large sea snail, and the Vietnamese like large snails because of their chewy meat texture. The meat of a melo melo snail consists of 2 parts: the white pulp and the soft, fatty brown intestine. There are many ways to cook mel melo such as boiling, grilling, making salads, cooking porridge …
Melo melo salad (gỏi ốc giác) is a simple, rustic but very tasty dish, and it has become a delicacy food in coastal city Phan Thiet.
In a saucepan, add 5 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar, bring to a boil then turn off the heat. When the sauce is cooled off, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, minced garlic, and minced chillis, then stir evenly. Taste if the sauce suits your taste buds.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add melo melo snails, and cook with crushed lemongrass stalks. When the snails are cooked, pull out the meat, cut in bite-sized pieces. Marinate the snails with 1 tablespoon of marinade.
Cut onions into rings. Slice a cucumber into 3mm (1/8 inch) slices. Cut a carrot into jullienne pieces. Soak the veggies in a mixture of vinegar and sugar for 5 mins, then drain.
In a large bowl, add the snails, all the veggies, roasted sesame, spring onion strips, then pour the marinade and toss the mixture up. Bring the salad onto a serving plate, and garnish with sesame, peppermints, and spring onions. Serve with prawn crackers.