How to cook the perfect peppered snail sauce?

lead image

Snails are delicious and nutritious! The snail in question is the African giant snail otherwise called Congo meat. You will hardly find a Nigerian party where there’s no peppered snail sauce on the menu. A good host will know to include this spicy delicacy as part of the small chops, served only to the people on the VVIP list.

snail sauce


Bar owners reportedly sell more drinks when they serve spicy, hot snails in their bars. Walk into any Nigerian bar and you’ll see a bowl of snail sauce sitting appetizingly inside the showcase. Peppered snail is unarguably the most high-class of all Nigerian appetizers and small chops.

Why should you eat snail meat?

If you are one of the (very few) people who need some convincing before you try snail meat, this is why it is good for you. It is high in protein and extremely low-fat. Also, it has vitamins E, B12, A, and K. It is also a good source of iron. People who want to reduce their intake of red meat can give snails a try.

Snail meat is also very versatile. You can add it to stews, soups, and you can even snack on it when you prepare delicious sauces.

However, there are cultures in Nigeria where eating snail is forbidden.

Tips for preparing and cooking snail sauce

Before we get down to the recipe, there are a few things you should note if you are new to cooking snails.

• When removing the snails from the shell, make sure there are so shell fragments in the meat

• Wash and make sure the slime is completely gone before you cook

• You can remove the slime with salt, dry garri, or alum

• If you are using alum to remove the slime, make sure to rinse the snail clean afterwards

• Try not to overcook it; it needs to retain its crunchiness

• Choose medium to large snails

snail sauce



10 large snails
I medium onion, chopped
2 habanero peppers, blended
1 seasoning cube
A pinch of salt
1 cup mixed tomato and pepper puree (tomapep)
½ cup vegetable oil
Green and red bell peppers for garnishing

How to cook peppered snail sauce

  • Step 1 – cleaning the snails

Remove the snails from the shells, taking care to remove every piece of hard shell

Clean the meat to remove slime, soil, and dirt

Rinse the meat with clean water

  • Step 2 – cooking the snail meat

Place the meat in a small pot and put in enough water to cover it

Add a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes

Bring down the pot and drain the water

  • Step 3 – cooking the peppered sauce

Pour vegetable oil into a saucepan and heat it for two minutes

Add the chopped onions and fry for 1 minute

Add the tomato/pepper puree, salt, and seasoning cube and stir-fry for 3 minutes

Add the snails to your sauce and let it cook for 5 more minutes

Garnish with the bell peppers

Turn off the cooker and serve your spicy, hot peppered snail sauce!

Want to impress your house guests? You can serve this as an appetizer when next you have people over.


Also ReadNigerian chicken pepper soup recipe

Written by

Julie Adeboye