Periwinkle or winkle (Vietnamese: ốc mỡ) refers to some small edible whelk or sea snais, especially the common one Littorina littorea. The Vietnamese like snails, and this type of snail is commly found in many seafood restaurants in Vietnam. Broiled melo melo in garlic sauce (Vietnamese: ốc mỡ cháy tỏi) is a delicous dish which is highly prized by local gourmets, who like the chewy and fatty texture of the snails.
Soak the snails in rice-rinsing water for 5-6 hours. Or soak in water with rice powder. Or, soak in water with crushed chillis or chilli powder
In a pan, heat it up and add butter to melt. Add minced garlic, chillis, ginger to sauté. Add 2 teaspoons of pure water, and add seasonings (salt, fish sauce, msg, sugar, black pepper etc) to suit your taste buds. Next, add the snails into the pan, and stir evenly until the snails is fully marinated, then add another ½ bowl of water (~ 7 tablespoons) and reduce the heat to cook for about 10 mins.
Turn of the heat. Taste the sauce again, and adjust if necessary. Then add Vietnamese mint leaves and chopped spring onions and stir. Pour the snails and sauce onto a serving plate. Garnish the plate with lime leaf threads.
Adding water will prevent the snails from getting burnt.
Adding Vietnamese mint directly to the dish is optional. You can instead garnish the dish with the Vietnamese mint leaves later when serving.