Bahamian Conch Fritters

“Konk” is found mostly in the Caribbean with its closest culinary relative being the Abalone. Conch is indigenous to the Bahamas. The meat of conchs is eaten raw in salads, or cooked in burgers, chowders, gumbos, and fritters. All parts of the conch meat are edible. Even though it taste is very mild with a bit of chew, its real story lies in its shell and the myths it have followed it for 3,000 years.

The magnificent Queen Conch has long been considered a symbol of good luck by sailors and travelers. So indestructible is this beautiful shell that, no matter how it is tossed and uprooted by the stormy sea, it always returns home. As such, the conch has become a symbol of strength and endurance. In Greek mythology, the conch shell was used as a horn by Triton, the son of the sea god Poseidon. Aphrodite, the Greek love goddess, is sometimes depicted holding the conch shell as a reminder that she was born from the sea. In Hindu tradition, the conch shell is often used in ceremonies as the sound it makes is said to correspond with “higher frequency universal sounds”.

Sounds of the sea and universe aside, the conch makes some of the best fried appetizers anywhere in the world.

Conch Fritters with Mayo-Ketchup Sauce

Conch fritters make for a wonderful appetizer and bring the flavors of the Caribbean right into your home. The hot fritters pair nicely with a simple Puerto Rican mayo-ketchup dip. Cooked chopped shrimp or calamari make wonderful substitutions for conch, if preferred.
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Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Bahamas, Caribbean
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Wide pan for frying, wok, or deep fryer.
  • Wire whisk

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Canola oil
  • ¾ cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 large Egg
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp Crushed dried red hot chili pepper
  • ½ tsp Seasoning salt
  • tsp Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, each
  • 1 cup Chopped conch (or cooked shrimp or calamari)
  • ½ cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Red, green, or yellow bell pepper (mixed or 1)
  • 2 stalk Celery, diced fine
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

Mayo-Ketchup Dipping Sauce

  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise
  • cup Tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat oil to 375°F (177°C).
  • Make Batter – In a large bowl, mix the flour, egg, and milk. Mix in cayenne, seasoning salt, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the conch meat, onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic.
  • Fry Fritters – Scoop tbsp-sized rounds of batter into the oil and fry until golden brown. Careful not to over-crowd. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Fry a few at a time and be sure oil is back to temperature before adding another round to cook.
  • Make Dipping Sauce – Whisk Worcestershire sauce into ketchup. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Serve with hot fritters.

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