Have you ever eaten Gong-gong which is also known as Conch or Laevistrombus Turturella? Never heard of it? I am sure most Asians from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other Asians country will know this well. It is actually a species of a sea snail. Well, don’t raise that brow yet.. What about escargot? Hah… I’m pretty sure most of you Westerners or those from France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and countries alike are more familiar with that. So this Gong-gong aka Laevistrombus Turturella aka Conch is actually a relative to Escargot. Just that it has a different shape like this…
See? Similar to Escargot right?.. Only the shape may be a little different. The right side is the cooked Gong-gong while the left side is the empty Gong-gong with the tails which should not be eaten. And while Escargot is a land snail species and eaten as an appetizer, this Gong-gong is a sea snail species and usually eaten as a side dish. You can find this in most Seafood Restaurants.
Gong-gong’s are usually boiled or steamed by adding ginger to remove the fishy smell and eaten by dipping it into a sauce. The taste is really delicious than cockles. It is not that hard to dig it out. As long as it is cooked right, the Gong-gong should be easy to be pulled out. But you gotta pull it out slowly so as to get the whole Gong-gong out in a piece. Too fast and you will snap half of it out and that’s when you may need a toothpick to help you.
If you are preparing this at home, as with any other hard shell seafood, you have to clean it very well by brushing it off. You can use a toothbrush or brush or sponge. Your choice as long as you got the dirt and sands off the shell. Then you need to ensure that you cooked it well but never overcooked as it may leave the meat dry and over chewy and the taste may be lost due to that.
I bought this at our local shops called ‘Giant’. It is a supermarket filled with all the great food and stuff for your daily essentials. We were so lucky that day to have a few varieties of fresh seafood and without any second thoughts, I told the Hubs that I want it. It cost $5.90 per 1 kg and we got it at $2.47 for a 420g. Ordering this meal in a restaurant may easily cost you about $8 to $15 for a plate of it. Preparing it at home is better as I am pretty sure that you won’t compromise on it’s hygiene.
You can dip it in Soy Sauce mixed with a little lime juice, ginger and red chilli padi (Bird’s Eye Chilli) which is usually served in the restaurant. Or you can dip it in sambal belacan or in Budu-budu if you are preparing it at home. The sauce is endless as the variety depends on what you prefer. Oh, please do not eat the tail which is a little sharp and hard. Leave that out and bite the meat.
As per cockles, you can cook this with other dishes too. And I actually add this to hubby’s packed dinner in his Sambal Scrambled Egg. I just place it at the top and it would be up to him to mix it in or eat it as it is. It’s my first time cooking Gong-gong at home and mixing it with a dish and so far I’m loving it and my partner approves it.
So for those of you who have never eaten this, the next time you see it as you explore and travel, go ahead and try it! You’ll love it! For those who have tried, tell us what’s the taste like to you and do you like it? Leave your comments below!
Till then, see you soon!