National Dish of Bahamas Crack Conch with Peas and Rice
|For Conch and Tempura Batter|
|queen conch flesh (tenderized using a meat mallet)||1 lb|
|Oil for frying|
|black pepper||1 tsp.|
|garlic powder||1 tsp.|
|fresh thyme (minced)||1 tsp.|
|For Bahamian Style Peas and Rice|
|pigeon peas||1 cup|
|rice||1 ½ cups|
|medium onion (diced)||1|
|tomato paste||½ cup|
|fresh thyme (minced)||2 tsp.|
|slices bacon (diced)||2|
|ripe tomato (sliced)||½|
Queen conch (Crack Conch) is a giant sea creature that is naturally found in the ocean surrounding the islands of the Bahamas. It is a versatile and flavorful delicacy and islanders have prepared this conch in a variety of delicious ways. The flesh of the conch is tough and chewy but ‘cracking’ or pounding it with a meat mallet causes it to become tender. Fried conch strips are eaten with Bahamian-style peas and rice.
Directions for Preparing Crack Conch
For Conch and Tempura Batter
- Combine flour, egg, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and water to form a batter. Add a small amount of water at a time to make a thick batter paste.
- Chop the tenderized conch into 2-inch strips.
- Coat the strips in tempura batter and deep fry in oil until golden brown.
- Set aside
For Bahamian Style Peas and Rice
- Begin by adding the bacon to a pan. Fry until golden brown.
- Add the sliced tomato, onion, tomato paste, pepper, and thyme. Sauté together with the bacon.
- Add the peas. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 3 cups of water. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice, cover, and cook on medium heat for about thirty minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.
- Serve the fried conch with Bahamian-style rice and peas.
Take the opportunity to discover Bahamian cuisine; its spicy and unique flavor, using all local ingredients. Crack Conch with Peas and Rice is a traditional Bahamian island favorite.
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