Ốc Gừng Sả (Vietnamese Escargot with Ginger & Lemongrass)

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Ốc Gừng Sả (Vietnamese Escargot with Ginger & Lemongrass) offers a fresh, flavorful take on the classic French escargot recipe. This dish combines the briny taste of snails with the bright, aromatic notes of ginger, lemongrass, and other Vietnamese herbs and spices. The end result is a vibrant appetizer or snack that puts an unexpected spin on escargot.

Instead of relying solely on butter, garlic, and parsley, this Vietnamese-style preparation uses lemongrass, ginger, chili, and fish sauce to add layers of flavor. The ginger and lemongrass impart a citrusy, gingery aroma while the fish sauce lends an umami saltiness. Together, these ingredients give the snails a more complex, dynamic taste compared to the usual garlic-butter escargot.

For those looking to branch out from the rich, heavy French classic, Vietnamese escargot offers a lighter, healthier alternative bursting with Southeast Asian flavors. The combination of tender snail meat with the lemongrass, ginger, and herbs is a taste sensation not to be missed.

The Flavor Of Ốc Gừng Sả

The Flavor Of Ốc Gừng Sả

Vietnamese Escargot with Ginger & Lemongrass balances the mild, earthy flavor of the snails with an array of enlivening aromatics. The dish offers a symphony of tastes and textures:

  • Lemongrass – Adds a bright, citrusy note with subtle grassy undertones
  • Ginger – Provides a warm spiciness and gingery kick
  • Garlic – Still present, but plays a background role in supporting the other flavors
  • Chili – Brings a subtle heat and sizzle to each bite
  • Fish sauce – Supplies an umami saltiness that enhances the overall flavor
  • Cilantro – Fresh, herbal flavor that lightens up the dish
  • Snail meat – Tender and mildly briny, soaks up all the other flavors

Together, these ingredients create a flavor profile that is much more complex than the traditional French preparation. The ginger and lemongrass mingle beautifully with the snails, adding zest and aromatics.

In terms of texture, the snails offer a satisfying chew and pop. The lemongrass adds a fibrous crunch. When combined in each bite, you get an array of textures from tender to crispy. This textural contrast makes the dish even more interesting to eat.

Ingredients For Ốc Gừng Sả

  • 24 snails, cleaned
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
Ingredients For Ốc Gừng Sả

How To Make Ốc Gừng Sả?

  1. Clean the snails by scrubbing the shells and removing the operculum. Soak in lightly salted water for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse well.
  2. In a pot, bring about 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the snails and blanch for 2-3 minutes to cook. Drain and rinse under cold water. Use a toothpick to extract the snail meat from the shells.
  3. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots and chili pepper. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the snail meat, fish sauce, sugar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until snails are cooked through.
  5. Remove lemongrass. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed with more fish sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to a plate and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve warm with rice noodles or French bread.

Tips for Cooking Ốc Gừng Sả

  • Use fresh, high-quality snails and ingredients for optimal flavor.
  • Adjust the chili pepper amount to your desired spice level.
  • Make sure the snails are thoroughly cleaned and rinsed.
  • Don’t overcook the snails; 5 minutes of simmering is enough.
  • Garnish with lime wedges, basil leaves or pepper for extra flavor.

This dish can be served as an appetizer with crusty bread for dipping, or as a main course along with rice or noodles. The possibilities are endless.

How To Serve Ốc Gừng Sả?


  • Place the snails on a serving dish.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, more slices of chili if desired, and perhaps another squeeze of lime or lemon.


  • Serve with a side of more fresh herbs.
  • Provide toothpicks or small forks to easily pick the snails out of their shells if they aren’t already removed.
  • It’s common to serve this dish with a cold beer or a refreshing iced tea, which complements the spicy and aromatic nature of the dish.
Ốc Gừng Sả
Ốc Gừng Sả


Can I use other herbs instead of ginger and lemongrass?

While ginger and lemongrass are integral for achieving the classic Vietnamese flavor, you can experiment with other fresh herbs as well. Thai basil, mint, cilantro, and chives would all pair nicely with the snails. Just adjust the recipe ratios to suit your tastes.

How do I clean escargot properly?

Start by soaking the snails in water with salt and vinegar, which helps draw out impurities. Rinse several times. Use a toothpick to remove the hard operculum covering the opening of the shell. Remove the snail meat, check for any dirt or slime, and rinse thoroughly. Boil for a few minutes before using in recipes.

Are there other Vietnamese dishes featuring escargot?

Yes! Here are some other popular Vietnamese escargot recipes:

  • Escargot fried rice – Snails, rice, vegetables stir-fried with fish sauce and oyster sauce
  • Escargot spring rolls – Minced escargot and mushrooms wrapped in rice paper and herbs
  • Escargot noodles – Rice noodles or pho topped with sautéed escargot

How does this recipe differ from the traditional French escargot?

Instead of relying on garlic-butter, this Vietnamese version uses ginger, lemongrass and herbs as the star flavors. Fish sauce adds a savory umami taste instead of salty Parmesan. The cooking method is faster, with a quick braise instead of baking. And the fresh, bright ingredients give it a lighter, healthier profile compared to heavy French sauces.

Conclusion: Ốc Gừng Sả

Vietnamese Escargot with Ginger & Lemongrass puts an inventive spin on a French classic. With its fragrant aromatics, spicy kick, and light herbaceous flavors, this dish offers an exciting new way to enjoy escargot. The contrasting tastes and textures reimagine escargot in a fresh and vibrant fashion.

Home cooks looking for an unexpected appetizer should give this Vietnamese-inspired preparation a try. Part of the fun is customizing the recipe with different herb and spice combinations to make it your own. With a few simple ingredients and easy steps, you can tantalize your tastebuds with this unique fusion recipe. Open your mind and palate to a whole new escargot experience.

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