If you have a chance to see the living Tu Hai (Otter Snout Clams) with your own eyes, you won’t be surprised by its strange name. An Otter Snout Clam looks like an oyster when its two shells are closed, but its shells rarely close because its long snout is always waggling between them.
Otter Snout Clams are a special marine species found on Van Don island in Bai Tu Long Bay, Quang Ninh. It takes two to three hours to reach the clam growing area by boat from Bai Chay beach. Bai Tu Long bay has pure and clean water so the habitat is suitable for this special species. Otter snout clam meat is fragrant, delicious and rich in protein. Its price ranges from VND 200,000 – VND 500,000/kg.
Before cooking, otter snout clam shells should be removed and washed before the meat can be made into tasty dishes as follows:
Grilled Otter Snout Clams
Fry some dried onion with chicken oil until it releases a scent. Cover the otter snout clams with this oil and then grill. You can also add peanuts, coriander, pepper and chilli oil to enhance the flavour.
Raw Otter Snout Clams
After cleaning, the otter snout clam meat is kept in its shell. Before serving, squeeze on some lemon juice and add some chilli sauce or wasabi. This dish can be eaten with red caviar.
Otter snout clams can also be fried, steamed, or roasted with cheese and fresh milk. Its unique fragrance enchants both tourists and the locals in Quang Ninh, and it has become the signature dish to be served at Quang Ninh parties in recent years.