Recipe of the month – RAPANE

Summer is here and more and more people have started to head towards the seaside every chance they have. And they are not only looking for relaxation, sun, sand and water, but also for the fresh and well cooked seafood. There is a huge variety of fish dishes and soups, and perhaps even more recipes of seafood servings, from which we have chosen to tell you about “Rapane”.

What are they? Rapana venosa, also known as the Veined or Asian Rapa Whelk, is a species of large, predatory sea snails, a marinegaestropod mollusk of the Muriciadae family (rock snails).  The translation would be the following: Remember when you were a kid, and each time you would go to the seaside, you would look for those big shells so you can listen to the sound of the sea? Well, they are called Rapane! Their shell is big and thick and has 7-8 spirals separated by deep ridges which make each of them unique.

The original known habitat for this species is the Far East yet by the 1940s, Rapane were found in the Black Sea on the coastlines of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, brought on the ship hulls from the Asian seas. They mostly live near the shore, in the 30 meters deep sandy and rocky sub layers.

Romanians call them “Black Sea Snails” and even though they are not that easy to cook, they can be prepared in different ways for all tastes.

Rapane in Butter and Wine Sauce

After carefully washing the Rapane in cold water, you have to heat up the butter in a frying pan with a bit of oil before adding the whelks and plenty of salt, leaving them to fry for 4-5 minutes. Add one glass of semi-dry white wine and leave it for another 2 minutes so the alcohol can evaporate.

In the meantime, you can prepare the sauce using olive oil, one finely chopped red pepper, parsley, hot pepper, salt and pepper to taste and plenty of lemon juice for a fresh flavor.

Before serving, leave the fried whelks to cool while leaving the pan with only the wine sauce simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. 7-10 minutes later, all that’s left is fixing the plate: the thin slices of whelks + the wine sauce + julienne carrot salad.

Rapane with vegetables

Leave the olive oil in a pan and, when heated enough, add the minced garlic and a pinch of red hot pepper flakes to taste. Add the rapa whelks, season it with plenty of salt and pepper and leave them for 5-7 min to fry.

Next, take the rapa whelks out of the pan, boil them a bit and rub them in salt. At the end, add white wine, and in few minutes, the tomato sauce.

It is advised to eat them right away otherwise they will dry and lose flavor. You can garnish the plate with basil and serve with a glass of the white wine.


Photo source:

1 reply added

  1. Pingback: Nomad Couple Discovering Bucharest - ABC Travel Romania

    […] What did the Nomadic Lifestyle enjoy most in Bucharest?  Books, Art, Parks and Food! They enjoyed the Carturesti Library that they discovered during the Hidden Treasures tour; the street fairs and events; the Green Bucharest; and if any of their videos or articles about Romanian food left you craving, check out our monthly recipe articles. […]


Leave your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.