BVI Conch Fritter Recipe. No matter where I am in the Caribbean I am constantly on the look out for the BEST conch fritters.
I try these island favorites in every local restaurant that I can. With varying amounts of luck.
I am going to share with you MY tried and true recipe for conch fritters that I have made hundreds of times over the years. This one is still my favorite, but I have found a few in Restaurants that came close, and will give you some places to try at below.
First you have to gather, buy and prepare your conch. Hopefully you are in a location that it is legal to gather conch, but if not, it is easy to find the meat already prepared for you locally to buy.
Even better look for local fisherman cleaning their conch on the many conch piles in the Virgin Islands and ask if you can buy it very fresh.
Where are the conch piles in the BVI?
I am sure there are more, but these are the main ones that I know. The fisherman go back to the same piles all the time to clean their conch and discard the shells.
Folklore or true, the story is that the conch will leave the area if there are too many dead conch around!
How do you clean conch?
- Place your conch flat down on a surface
- Take a hammer and a cold cold chisel, ( the local fisherman typically have a little axe that they have shaped to do this) and count into the second groove on the top and make a hole in your shell.
- Get a sharp flexible knife and place it in the hole you made, making sure to cut all the muscle away all the way around. The goal here is to cut the muscle that attaches it to the shell and leave a lot of the yucky bits that are right at the top of the shell.
- If you have done this correctly it will slip right out. Good luck!
- Another method is to freeze the conch, and then you can pull it out without having to cut a hole in the shell. Another benefit of this method is it tenderizes the conch.
- Once you have your meet out, cut off the foot, and you will see a dark line up one side of the conch. This is the stomach digestive track and you can cut that out.
- Clean off the odd bits and pieces that are very slimly around the conch and tidy it up.
- On charter yachts in days gone by, it was said that the penis was an aphrodisiac and we would often talk a guest into downing this!
- You are going to find your conch very slimy still. Rinse it well!!! Very well.
- Now you are onto tenderizing. I use a meat tenderizer. Hammer it out very well.
- A food processor comes in very hand now. I typically would pulverize the conch in there until it was a large, pasty almost dough-like consistency. Most places leave it in larger chunks in their conch fritters, I prefer them pulverized.
How to assemble your conch fritter recipe
Of course, this is all guesstimate and depends on how many conch you have. I find 3-4 large conch are good for about 14 people as a healthy size appetizer. I cannot give you measurements, only ideas and ingredients.
- Chop vegetables quite small. I use what I have, I try and make sure I always have peppers or red or green, green onions, but also use celery, carrots, mushrooms, plain onions. Just about anything I have on hand. The adventurous can use Scotch Bonnet peppers!
- Add fresh garlic, 2-3 cloves minced very small.
- add a healthy does of Lemon or lime juice and I add a couple splashes of Tabasco or other favourite hot sauce. If you have fresh lemons or limes go that way.
- Seasonings. Based on your preference! I use Salt and Pepper, Seasoning Salt, Goya, sometimes touch of curry if I am in the mood, maybe a bit of dill weed as well.
- Mix all this in with your conch meat by hand and start adding flour until it is a medium sticky dough.
Cook your Conch Fritters
This is always tricky if you are on a yacht, so I hope it is a catamaran and a calm anchorage. I take a pot on the stove with vegetable oil and heat it so it is quite hot, 350-375 degrees. Test it by putting a drop of water in or a tiny piece of conch fritter.
Spoon fritter sized portions into the oil and deep fry in the hot oil until they are golden brown. They will float to the surface when they are done. Maybe 6 minutes? Of course it depends on the size of your fritters!
Place them on a paper towel and let the oil reheat before you go onto the next batch. Repeat until you are finished.
Cocktail sauce for Conch Fritters
My preferred sauce! Mix the following in a bowl:
- Ketchup- about equal portions
- chilled or fresh grated horseradish
- Fresh ground pepper
Mix for taste and serve as a dipping sauce immediately with your conch fritters!
British Virgin Islands Conch Fritters
Let’s face it. The chances of you doing this on your yacht charter vacation are pretty slim. Here are some places around the British Virgin Islands that you can just sit with a cold beer and order as many as you want to try out!
- Cooper Island Beach Club. Always a favorite!
- Cow Wreck Beach on Anegada. Check out the recipe for these killer conch fritters here.
- Myetts in Cane Garden Bay
- One of my favorites has always been the conch fritters at Fat Virgin in North Sound
Try them out while going around The Caribbean yourself and let us know who you think has the Best BVI Conch fritter recipe! Double points if you GET their recipe.