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Kohli Bourbouristi: Popping Fried Snails


Photo of Salt Fried Snails - Greek Food Photos

Popping fried snails with rosemary

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: κοχλιοί μπουρμπουριστοί, pronounced kokh-lee-EE boor-boor-ee-STEE

"Bourbouristi" is the popping sound snails make when frying. Snails fried in the shell on a bed of salt may sound strange, but they are delicious and very easy to make. Oil, vinegar, and rosemary give the fried snails a uniquely Greek flavor.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 30 large snails
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of rosemary


Clean the snail shells, and remove the covering on the lip of the snail with a sharp knife. Discard any snails that aren't alive (the lip will be gone, withdrawn into the shell, etc.).

Sprinkle the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch frying pan with the salt over medium heat, and put in the snails with the open side down on the salt (see photo). Cook for 1-2 minutes, add the oil, reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 25 minutes. Add vinegar and stir the snails. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top, and when the oil bubbles up, remove from heat.

Spoon onto serving plates and drizzle with a little of the pan juices. Serve hot.

Yield: serves 2 as an entree, 3-4 as a meze.

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