Cracked Conch

Cracked Conch

Conch is widely eaten in the Caribbean islands. Its taste when cooked is similar to calamari, is slightly sweet, and very tender if prepared correctly.  

They are easy to pick up from the grassy seabeds that they live on - thereafter, they are a real pain to prepare for eating. They have to be extracted from their shell, then cleaned and trimmed so that you are left with a solid piece of white muscle - the mess if you don't know what you're doing is incredible.

So, if you can, buy conch ready prepared from a local fisherman.

Cracked conch gets its name from the cracker crumbs used to coat the meat before frying.


Preparation Time:  1 hour cleaning + 10 minutes bashing with a rolling pin
Cooking Time:  10 minutes

2 medium conch, cleaned and trimmed Salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten 2 tblsp cooking oil
2 limes Hot pepper sauce, to taste
1 cup dried breadcrumbs or finely crushed crackers All-purpose seasoning

Slice the conch lengthways into thin slices. Place into a plastic Ziplock bag, and pound with a rolling pin until the meat is wafer-thin. Do not skimp on this process, as if the conch is still thick enough to look white rather than translucent, it will not be tender when cooked.

Squeeze the juice from 1 lime over the pounded meat and leave to marinade for a few minutes.

Mix the cracker crumbs with a little all-purpose seasoning (or paprika & chili powder) and salt and pepper.

Dip the conch meat into the the beaten egg, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Shallow-fry the conch until golden on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Serve with rice and fried plantains, and a squeeze of lime juice.