Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spicy Sea Snails aka Balitong

Balitong is a type of sea snails found in the muddy coastal river mouth in Malaysia and is known as ‘ siput sedut ‘ in the Malay language. It is one of the favourite seafood item that can found in most seafood restaurant in Malaysia. Most Malaysian love this sea snails /malaysian escargot. :P It has a crunchy texture and sweet taste.

Piggy gal and myself are the only one who know how to enjoy eating them. Daddy and Piggy boy will shun from them as these snails are covered with mud when purchased from the wet market. They are quite unsightly actually so I understand why these guys don’t like to eat them… Malaysians will know what I mean :))) They are sold at the wet market with the mud still on their shells at a price of RM 7 per kg.

I don’t cook them often coz it entails a lot of work . The snails have to be first soaked and rinsed in water many times until the snails are totally rid of the mud. Then using the back of the cleaver, chopped off the end part of the snail of about more than 1/4 inch , one by one . After that, I have to soak them once again in water to rid them of the chippings otherwise when we suck the meat out of the shell, the chippings will get stuck in our throat. After which drip dry them in a basket. Next, get all the spices ready for stir frying the snails and the final step ,heat up the wok and get our butts seated and enjoy a plate of mouth-watering stir fried spicy sea snails. Hehe... Piggy gal and myself will start our race of who manages to get the meat out of the shells first. And who can eat the most !
Another hard task. You have to suck hard at one end first then suck a few times from the front of the snail in order to get the meat out of the shell. Next, you have to remove a thin layer of shell like membrane from the front part of the body before you can start to chew on the crunchy sweet snail meat.....yummilicious no doubt...a night of sucking the snails....the sound can be quite errr...disturbing..... chut chut chutting away ( in cantonese it means kissing the snail ):)) For that reason , I don't order this dish at the seafood restaurant coz it can be quite embarassing if you have guest for dinner :P

Mouthwatering Stir fried Spicy Sea Snails

The art of eating this snails is to suck the end part
then the front....this is the only way to get the meat out
and you have to remove the round shell like membrane
before you can eat it :) Can you spot the shell like membrane
from the photo above???

the snail meat is crunchy and sweet!

Stir Fried Spicy Sea Snail/ Balitong


300 gm sea snails/ balitong- washed and cleaned
2 - 2.5 tbsp of olive oil/ vegetable oil
1 tbsp of dried prawn – soaked and pounded fine
1 sprig curry leaves

Spice ingredients:
1 tbsp chilli paste
2 shallots
2 garlic
1 tbsp of fish curry powder
1 tbsp tom yam paste

1 tsp of sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp of anchovies /ikan bilis stock granules
2 tbsp of water

Blend the spice ingredients in a food processor into a fine paste.
Blanch sea-snails in boiling water for a minute. Drain.
Heat oil in a wok and sauté dried prawns, curry leaves and blended spice ingredients until fragrant.
Add the sea-snails and fry well to combine. Stir in seasoning and bring to a quick rolling boil. Dish out to serve.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend!



  1. These look really good! I've had escargot once before and although I enjoyed it, it's not something I aspire to make at home. Sounds like this dish is also something I'll leave to an experienced cook like you to make. I don't mind being noisy in a restaurant if everyone else is making the same noise eating this! 8-)

  2. oh dear..
    sipot sedut, slurp!

    have you try the "masak lemak cili api" version, elin?

    wallaaaa... ;P

  3. LOL!
    Dear Elin, did you know that Indonesia and malaysia export snails )escargots) to France?
    Might be an interesting way to eat your sea snails!

  4. how very interesting! i've never seen those sea snails before. what a brave daughter for liking them!

  5. I love these! We call it 'gu gu ley' in Hokkien :) Mainly because you need to suck the meat out from the shell, and 'ley' is clam in Hokkien. We used to eat this very often when we were young!

  6. Pardon my language but we really used to call them "kiss my ass"! Perfect name right? Well, its really fun doing it and when you chut & chut and nothing comes out, can be darn frustrating right? Hee. hee.

  7. Haven't tried it for a very long time! It makes me drooling now.....

  8. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try these. :(

  9. I am very intrigued. I cannot say that I would eat more than one, but I am very intrigued.

  10. this bailtong really look good,make me drooling now!! miss it so much!

  11. @ Tangled Noodle : LOL..I guess you are right...if everyone is making the same noise eating this then we might as well join them! I need to overcome this :P

    @ alis : Yess...but I overboiled the santan so it became santan did not post up the photos. Haha got the recipe from my malay colleague and it was good. Sedap sedap :))

    @ shizuokagourmet :Hi Robert,
    thanks for the info. Now I know where those bigger ones has gone to and left us the small small ones! You should try cooking it this way....tasty and yummy!

    @ Pearl : Haha..not brave but being piggy she will slurp everything up * wink wink**

    @ Happy Homemaker : Haha...thanks for telling me it's called 'gu gu ley' in hokkien. And I thought it was called balitong in hokkien . Coz it looks like a pagoda in Bali :P

    @ Family First : LOL, yup I remember now that it is called 'chut lor ' meaning kiss ass :P

    @ food4tots : Hi,come back to Penang then...lotz of it there!

    @ Dragon : should join fear factor . After that you might like it :)

    @ Caitlin : Try it! It has a crunchy texture and sweet taste so I am sure you will like it. Very tasty!

    @ My Asian Kitchen : Ooh..sorry. You have to juz drool for the time being till you get your hands on them :P

  12. We eat these in France as well, just boiled (in a bouillon), take them out with a toothpick, take the membrane away, dip in home made mayonnaise, hummmm :)
    Had these in Hong Kong (on Cheung chau) cooked differently again, and saw them in black bean sauce in temple street, but the look of them in black bean sauce did not tempt me. It does make them look dirty ;)
    But I've never ever tried them stir fried, it sounds very yummy to me :))

  13. Hi Christelle,

    Haha, over here we can't use a toothpick, have to suck them out as described ..LOL it is yummy if stir-fried with lotz of chilli but don't get choked on the hot chilli sauce though!


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