Saturday, April 17, 2010

suck harder! and it will come out

this trip to kuching, i ate something which i have not had for about 50 years. i ate siput sedut at a seafood restaurant in kuching. in singapore, we call these snails chut-chut. the last time i ate these river or mangrove snails was under the wayang stage at lorong sinaran when i was about 12 years old. those days, these snails must have been quite cheap. i remember we had to use the bent end of a safety pin to dig out the flesh.

in kuching, they call these snails 'the midnight kiss'. when my host started making smooching noises while sucking at the meat, i realise that the name was quite appropriate. initially, i had some problem getting at the flesh. my friend chided me for my lack of experience in kissing. she said the right way was to suck at the tail end before working on the front. i was able to eat more after receiving that instruction.

another person who was eating with us commented that cleaning and preparing the snails for the dining table entails a lot of work. it is so tedious that she seldom wants to cook this dish. i remember in those bygone days the chut-chut was not cooked this way. after cleaning and knocking off the tail end, the chut-chut was simply dumped into a pot of boiling water.

i remember the hawker who sold these snails also sold clams, vinegar crabs and some big mangrove snails which were as long as 8cm.


Andy Young* said...

Never tried it. Must be good?

Uncle Phil said...

Are they still available in Singapore?

yg said...

andy, without the sauce and the chilli, the flesh is very bland, almost tasteless.

yg said...

phil, i think they are still available in s'pore. will check it out the next time i go to desker road.

yg said...

phil, my friend just told me that you get this dish at hajah maimunah restaurant in either joo chiat or jalan pisang.

PChew said...

In Singapore the siput was cooked in boiling water and ate with chilly sauce (not Maggie). Ayoh, sidup sekali!

Yu-Kym said...

I've never tried it before but what a title! :P

WK said...

Enjoyed reading about this "old"
and cheap seafood. I once ate
this at a stall in Kreta Ayer.
The stall is probably still

If I remember correctly, I saw
this type of live seafood being
sold at Sheng Siong Supermarket
in Bedok Central some months
back. This supermarket is quite
amazing (to me and to my grandchildren) with its variety of
live seafood --- abalone, crabs,
oysters, crabs, lobsters, "la la", etc.

wee kiat

yg said...

yes, mr chew, that's the way i used to eat it. the clams (hum) were also eaten this way.

yg said...

yu-kym, you should have a go at it. eat it locally. the snails have to be thoroughly cleaned. i know the title is something readers would expect to find in your blog.

yg said...

wee kiat, quite a number of sheng siong outlets stock live seafood. these snails can be found in swampy areas. i remember going with some friends to a river in yishun to collect snails and clams in the 70s. when i visited penang, i also went with my friend to the beach to dig for siput (snails).

Lam Chun See said...

I think I ate this more than 20 years ago in Penang.

stanley said...

You can try this siput dish at Chinatown Hawker food Centre. A small plate of siput costs $5. Very expensive!

Thimbuktu said...

The siput now is a luxury dish hawker stall and restaurant since we last enjoyed the shells 20
years ago. Used to pick the shells stuck to the jetty stairs at Bedok, Sembawang and Clifford Pier.

yg said...

whoa! unemployed people like me can make a living by collecting siput.