The dog conch, known as “Hoy Chak Teen” in Thai, is a species of sea snail, famous in Krabi’s cuisine. Chak teen means ‘feet pulling’ and hoi means ‘shell’. To prepare the dog conch, the shell is soaked in salty water for about 30 minutes. The dog conch then begins expelling the mud from inside by pushing its feet out. It is rinsed several times and then boiled gently, starting with cold water. This way, the dog conch pushes its feet out, so when cooked, they can be easily picked out with a toothpick. The dog conch is eaten with a spicy chili dipping sauce called Nam Jim Seafood.
Fresh dog conches at the floating seafood restaurant in Bang Pat Fishing Village.
The dog conch is an important economic asset in the Indo-Pacific, and it may be suffering population declines due to overfishing; ecologists have recommended a reduction in its exploitation rate. Initiatives in Thailand are attempting to manage the natural populations; good for us who want to eat this dog conch with a clean conscience.