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Dec 13, 2007 02:57 PM

preparing conch

I bought a bag of frozen conk to experiment with it and my first batch, i tried boiling them. Once I took them out of the shell, it was really slimy/mucusy and i had a hard time washing it off and the texture was weird. Not chewy like I've tried before.
Can someone please tell me how to cook them? I've tried googling but i only get fritter recipes.

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  1. I've never cooked with conch before but from everything that I've read you have to remove it from the shell before you cook it. Maybe that's the problem, from cooking the conch in the shell. Sorry I can't be any more help. Good luck in cooking the rest of your conch.

    3 Replies
      1. re: hotsauce28

        I live in the Bahamas which is the home of conch so I think i can help a bit. Once conch is frozen it has to be taken out of the shell and beaten really well (once defrosted) so you can have a tender end result. Once you finish that the possibilities are endless. It can be cracked, steamed, grilled, stewed, chowdered, frittered etc. I will be happy to post recipes/methods for anything that strikes your fancy. I love them all so I cant chose a favorite- I hope this helps!!

        1. re: gastronomy

          I would love to see some recipes, thank you!
          What I was trying to make was just plain (i thought boiled) conch that i would dip into Korean chili sauce but I would to learn how to do more with them.
          The chowder sounds especially appealing to me.
          What do you mean by cracked?

    1. I have never heard of conch being sold commercially still in the shell, but I guess it happens. In Turks & Caicos, there is a commercial packing plant that packages and freezes conch meat in 5 pound boxes, mostly for restaurant suppliers.
      It needs to be removed from the shell as it requires some amount of cleaning (conch have innards, also, plus what I call the "boot"on the foot that prutrudes to propel it.) And then you have to beat it like a rented mule to tenderize it. You can't beat it enough.
      It's flavor is very light to begin with, and I don't recomment boiling because you'll loose too much flavor.
      Cracked conch is the tenderized meat cut into fingers, then an egg wash, dippen in flour, and deep fried. Usually served with a sauce of equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise.
      I like it broiled with butter and garlic, or ceviche.
      In Turks & Caicos, chilled conch salad is popular. Diced conch, lime juice, chopped onion and sweet peppers.
      To remove the contents of the shell, there is a spot on the shell toward the center of the nautilus that has to be punctured in order to cut away a connective piece. Gastronomy knows this process better than I do; Gastro, how would you better describe it?
      In any event, I hope you keep experimenting until you find a preparation you really like.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        i think i should learn the anatomy of a conch before i try this again. =)
        are the innards the last bit that comes out that looks like mud?

        1. re: hotsauce28

          It does if you punctured the sac, which is hard not to do. Plus, part of the foot is so tough that no amount of pounding can tenderize it.
          You reminded me of the first time I bought soft shell crabs. I just assumed in my youthful ignorance you just eat the whole thing. As the fish monger was weighing my order and reaching for wrapping paper, he curteously asked me if I would like for him to clean them for me. Hey, you don't know what you don't know.

          1. re: Veggo

            LOL! I taught a friend of mine to eat edamame. He couldn't figure out why the rest of us were enjoying it as he was hacking. Then we realized he was eating the whole thing. =)

            Can you do anything with the innards? Is it edible like tamale?

            1. re: hotsauce28

              No. Sharks eat innards because they eat conch like pistachios and they don't have fingers. We don't eat innards, because we do have nimble fingers.
              Little mollusks like clams and oysters we eat everything including, ahem, poop. Lobsters and conch are large enough to be able separate it. I remain hopeful that lobster tamale is either the growth of eggs in the early stage, or liver, rather than lobster poop. I have not seen an authoritative verdict on that one.