Num pachok chon (Snail noodle soup)

Ingredients :
  • 1920 ml (8 Cups) water
  • 1 Package vermicelli noodle
  • 1 Kg (~2 lbs) Pork hocks, cut chunks(option)
  • 1200 ml (5 Cups) water
  • 1 or 2 Packages apple snail meat( sold at most Asian markets)
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 60 ml (¼ Cup) minced lemon grass
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 Slices galanga   
  • ½ Teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted rice powder
  • 3 Cans chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon creamy style pickle fish (prahok)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Stalks green onion, chopped
  • ½ lb shredded Asian water spinach *ta kuong* 
  • A handful mint leaves
  • 1 fresh lemon, slices
  • Handful of chopped fresh chili pepper(option)
Method : 
  1. Put 8 cups water in a large pot, bring to boil, add noodle to boiling water.
  2. Cook till noodle tender, pour noodles in to a colander, rinsed under cold water, drained and set a side. 
  3. Clean snails: Soak snails in cold water, remove any shell fragments and snail’s stomach, carefully check each snail, snail meat will not taste good if you bite in to sand. Rinse well under cold water and put in a colander to drain. 
  4. Note: (If prefer pork hocks with this soup, put pork hock with 5 cups water, cook till pork hocks tender. Removed cooked pork hocks from boiling water, then using the same water to cook snail meat.) 
  5. Put snail meat with 5 cups water in a large pot, cook snail for 10 minutes, removed cook snail from soup pot, put cook snail in a colander, rinsed and drain, and set a side.
  6. Pour chicken broth in a large soup pot, simmering till chicken broth bubbling.
  7. While waiting for chicken broth to boil, using mortar and pestles to manually pound garlic with lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf, rhizome root, galanga, paprika and roasted rice powder till real fine, or grinded spices with food processor.
  8. Add prepared spices, boiled apple snails and boiled pork hocks in to the boiling chicken broth, cook in medium low heat till chicken broth boils again. 
  9. Season with prahok, sugar, fish sauce, salt and black pepper, stir well.
  10. Add green onion and simmer for half hour or more to meld the flavours. 
  11. In a large bowl, mix shredded water spinach stalks or shredded cabbage with mint leaves together, set a side. 
  1. Put some mix vegetables on the bottom of the bowl, add some noodle on top vegetables and pour soup broth with some snail meat(and pork hock) on top noodle. 
  2. Serve immediately with lemon wedge and chopped hot chillie pepper.