Saturday, February 27, 2010

King Topshell Stir Fry

When Andrew, Lauren and I were in Chinatown recently I bought a can of King Topshell.
I didn't have a clue what it was, but figured it was like a large clam.

I didn't know whether it would be one big piece or lots of little pieces. Top shell is defined as a marine snail of the family Trochidae characterized by a spiral conical shell with a flat base. Another definition said it was typically a bright colored top-shaped or conical shell. A found this picture of a strawberry top shell on the internet.

I found something on the internet that said to use it like abalone. They suggested cutting it into thin slices, then cooking it in stir fry. That's what I decided to do. I opened the can and found one large piece and one small piece of snail.

The next picture is the same snail, just turned over.

I cut the snail into thin strips. I was surprised that it was not as rubbery as a clam or abalone.

I put it into a wok with some cut-up yellow, orange and red peppers, a diced onion, some olive oil, a little soyc sauce.

I added some chili pepper paste to give it a kick.
Much to my surprise and delight, I really liked it! The top shell was not rubbery at all. It was very mild, had a pleasing texture and combined with the pepper and onions very well. Judy even tried it and liked it. It is much less fishy than clams and the texture is much nicer. I would guess that someone that does not like clams because of the fishy taste and rubbery texture, might like top shell, particularly if they didn't know what it was before tasting it. A very fun and surprising find.

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