Alikreukel are giant sea snails, which are also known as large periwinkles and “olly crock”, are very much a part of the South African seafood tradition. They are tough, though tasty, and best served minced with a creamy sauce. They are found mainly in rocky areas along the coast from the Cape Peninsula to KwaZulu-Natal up to six metres below the surface of the sea.
Wash alikreukel well under running water to remove grit and sand. Discard specimens where the ‘trapdoor’ is open or missing.
Place in a saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove with tongs from the water. Shake the shell hard and the flesh should drop out. The flesh will remain attached to its ‘trapdoor’, a circular disc which is rough white on one side and smooth brown on the other. Use a skewer or knife to separate this from the meat. Detach the soft dark-coloured vicera and discard.
With a knife split the remaining meat and scrape away any residue intestine. Wash thoroughly once more to remove the last traces of sand and grit.
- Alikreukels on the Fire.
- Allow the coals to die down to a medium heat. Place the grid at a point where the heat is too hot to hold your hand for more than a second and arrange well-rinsed alikreukels on it with the ‘trapdoor’ facing upward. Allow to stew in their own juices for about 20 minutes, until the flesh can be pulled out of the shell and the “trapdoor” removed. Lift the flesh from the shells. Cut away the vicera and discard it. Slice the flesh and serve with lemon and garlic butter.
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