The golden apple snail, popularly known as “golden kuhol” (Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck), is one of the major pest problems in rice production. In 1989, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated that yield tosses owing to this pest ranged from 1% to 40% of the planted area in the Philippines, resulting in huge production loss. To control this pest, many farmers resort to the massive use of synthetic molluscicides that are expensive and broad spectrum, affecting non-target organisms including human beings.
To present additional alternatives and information on golden kuhol management, a new recipe for golden apple snail is now available. The product is a chicharon (cracker) that is devoid of water, has no offensive odor, with longer shelf-life, and can be readily used as an ingredient in other recipes.
Golden Kuhol are well edible and are often considered a protein rich delicacy. Consuming these snails is therefore an interesting option in those area’s where they have become a pest and treat for the rice and taro production. In such cases, eating these snails has two benefits:
- Collecting the snails is encouraged;
- The diet of the farmers (especially in third world countries) is enriched with a protein source.
Precautions have to be taken to kill the possible parasites that these snails can carry. Cook the snails thoroughly before consumption as this is a simple and effective way to eliminate the risk of infection. NEVER eat raw or poorly cooked snails!
Some basic tips to prepare the snails:
- Put the snails in a tank without food for 2 days to make sure that the intestines are emptied (optional).
- Boil the snails lightly or freeze them to kill the snails.
- Remove the snails from their shell with a hook or tweezers.
- Remove the body and intestines of the snails (only eat the foot). The internal organs don’t taste well; especially the albumen (yolk) gland from the female apple snail has bad taste (the same bad taste as the eggs, a possible protection mechanism against predators).
- Remove the operculum (shell door).
The nutritional value of apple snails is relatively high. More precisely, the protein content of apple snail can make them a good protein source for humans. For example the protein value of Pomacea haustrum is reported to be 72.9% for humans. In practice this means that out of 100 gram snail protein, 72.9 gram human body proteins can be made.
Golden Kuhol Chicharon (Kracker)
- 4-6 kg Apple snails with shell (yields 0.75-1.0 kg of apple snail flesh).
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Vinegar
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1-2 red Chilli
- 1/2 tsp. Alum
- 1 cup Vegetable cooking oil (for frying)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch or flour
- 1 Egg
- Collect large adults of apple snails (“golden” Kuhol) in the paddy, canals, and fishponds during early morning or late in the afternoon. Use attractants – gabi/ azolla/ banana leaves, or newspaper, to facilitate quick collection.
- Soak the collected snails in water for 24 hours to remove undigested food. Remove the dead “golden” Kuhol.
- Boil the snails in large container for 20-30 minutes. Boiling makes it easier to remove the flesh from the shell.
- Clean flesh again while removing the stomach. Rinse the flesh with alum (Tawas) to remove the unpleasant odor
- Mix the following ingredients (1 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp. vinegar, 3 cloves garlic, and 1-2 red chilli) with the “golden” Kuhol. Marinade for 24 hours.
- Sun dry the marinated snails for 2-3 days or place in the oven at 40°C for 48 hours.7. Deep fry in vegetable cooking oil for 2 minutes.
- Air-dry the prepared snails for 3 days. Such snails can be stored. Optional: Roll the snails in batter (cornstarch or flour with egg mixture) before final cooking.
- For final cooking, deep fry again for 5 minutes or until the “golden” Kuhol is crispy. Let cool. Place in plastic bag and seal.
Nutritive value of golden apple snail flesh per 100g
– Food Energy 83.0
– Protein 12.2 gramo
– Fat 0.4 gramo
– Carbohydrate 6.6 gramo
– Ash 3.2 gramo
– Phosphorus 61.0 mg.
– Sodium 0.4 mg
– Potassium 17.0 mg
– Riboflavin 12.0 mg
– Niacin 1.8 mg
– Other nutrients includes Vitamin C, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, and Iodine.
Based on the “Kibit” recipe of Mrs. Corazon M. Pasion, 124 Zamora St. Baler, Aurora
Modified by: M. S. dela Cruz and R. C. Joshi, Crop Protection Division, Department of Agriculture (DA)-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Maligaya, Munoz, Nueva Ecija-3119. Tel.: 044-4560 285 Local 227 or E-mail: [email protected]
source: applesnail.net, photo from www.manandmollusc.net