Top Shell Salad
This is a no-cook recipe for seasoned top shell salad (凉拌海螺). It is basically dressing up a can of top shell (conch) with onions, lime juice and chilli padi. This dish can be served chilled or at room temperature.
The top shell salad is deliciously hot (if you add a lot of chilli padi), savoury and very addictive. My brother can solo one can all by himself!
This is the can of top shell my mum often buys. The sauce (top shell soaking liquid) in the can (made up of “salt, sugar, soy sauce & spices”) is used directly as the salad dressing, so I like that it does not contain preservatives.
Cut each top shell to smaller pieces. Reserve the sauce in the can.
Slice onions (I’m using red, but white onion or shallots will do too) thinly as shown. Squeeze lime juice over the onions.
Coat the onions evenly in the lime juice, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. This process softens the onions, like a quickie pickle! If you are not a big fan of raw onions, this extra step helps to make the onions more soft and palatable. You can skip this if you don’t mind raw onions.
Add sliced top shell, chilli padi, more lime juice and coriander. Add top shell sauce (liquid from the can), as much or as little as you like. My mum loves to use all the liquid in the can, drenching the top shell in a bowl of sauce. For me, I prefer a drier salad, so I use only a few tablespoons of sauce as shown above.
Toss to serve, and plate the salad in a serving dish. Enjoy this on its own as an appetizer (so good with beer) or as a side-dish to accompany any meal.