Periwinkles – Vietnamese style

I loved Vietnam! We walked for days, got monsooned to the core and had our passports stolen – but I loved it and can’t wait to go back. And of course I loved the food… One of my fondest memories is the night in Ninh Binh when our guide (a local that we found on the internet) took us to a very local restaurant and had us munching on big local river snails. To give you an idea of just how local this restaurant was, they served us home brewn rice wine from a reused plastic bottle. It all tasted fine to me! The Vietnamese river snails were cooked in lemongrass and ginger and served with a beautiful dipping sauce and that’s what I’ve tried to recreate here, with periwinkles that we picked from the beach when the tide was out.

The winkles need to be thoroughly rinsed before cooking and you have to check so there’s no algae blooming in the area where you pick them.

I places the sliced ginger, garlic and spring onion in a pan with lime juice, fish sauce and a dash of water, half covering the periwinkles and brought to the boil. These winkles were very small and cooked in only a couple of minutes. The boys and I had great fun picking them out with a little help of a few needles for my mum’s old sowing kit. Can be eaten hot or cold.

They taste great with a cold beer! Especially my little one loved these winkles so I’ll be making more of them soon.



  • periwinkles
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • spring onion
  • fish sauce
  • lime juice
  • dash of water
  • for the dipping sauce:
  • soy
  • honey
  • sesame seeds
  • chili
  • lime juice

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