Jamaican Steam Conch

16.9.18 | Recipe by Renz

A delicious steam conch dinner with shrimp and okra. Perfectly paired with white rice or eaten alone as a dinner option.

   Steam conch with crackers and veggies in a white plate with rice on the side

I love conch. I also love pacro (chitons) and mussels and all those other sea shell type meats. I can eat them every time.

Living on an island, gettings these items were easy. We would pass someone on the side of the road trying to sell some fresh catch of the day be it conchs or crab and fish.

But these little buggers were not cheap. Catching crustaceans is not an easy job. I know especially for pacro it's a lot of work.

That means that you know you are going to pay a premier price for the meat. So that meant we also ate these things on occasion. Well, unless you decide to buy it already prepared at an establishment.

I was pretty excited when I was gifted with some conch by a family friend. Almost 4 pounds! The excitement level was on high.

I wanted to make five hundred recipes. I made a list of all the things I could make with the conch then realized, I just didn't have enough conch for that.

So decided to stick to the recipes that were true to my Caribbean folks. My hope is later I get some more conch so that I can do some Caribbean influenced recipes.

Steam conch with shrimp and veggies close up

Conch is eaten across most of the Caribbean islands (all the way up even to the Florida Keys).

I think of it as the official meat of the Bahamas. Bahamian cracked conch is probably the most popular conch recipe.

Jamaicans love it steamed or in soup. Trinbagonians curry it and Haitians, who call it lambi, fry, and stew.

What is Conch/Lambi?

Are you wondering what the heck is conch? Have had a few people give me the face when I tell them I'm feeling for some conch.

Check out introduction to conch post where I go into more detail about what this meat is and ways to prep it to cook.

When asked "what is steamed conch" I let people know that it just means that the conch is steamed down in some liquid until it's cooked.

Don't be thrown off if you see "steam" instead of "steamed".

Haitian's steam conch though, I find, is more like a stew (in a tomato based liquid) whereas Jamaican steam conch is in a broth seasoned up with some condiments.

Yummy steam conch on a plate over head

How to tenderize conch 

I choose to use the boiling method for this recipe as I explained in this post. I had the time and wanted my pieces to be a little on the fatter side.

I didn't have to worry too much here about having them too fat since boiling it would be good for even the chunky pieces. It gave me the softness I wanted in about 50 minutes.

If you decide to just beat with a meat clever make sure you get the conch thin and even all over. Beat it just until it starts to fall apart, then you slice it up into small, bite-sized pieces.

The most difficult process is getting that conch prep ready to go. Once that is completed it's a breeze.

Heat some oil and add the seasoned conch to it and give it a stir and start steaming (covered)

conch being cooked after being seasoned

Add your combined vegetables to the meat

Added vegetables to the conch

Add water and additional seasonings and continue steaming (cover on)

Test for salt, and other seasonings and for doneness of vegetables, especially carrots.

Once that is done now it's a good time to add those water crackers if you are using them. These Jamaican Choice water crackers came at a good time when I was making this conch.

Added water crackers to the conch and veggies

Water crackers are really an item that Jamaicans use a lot.

A picture of what is water crackers

These are hard and thin biscuits that are made up of just flour and water. No shortening is used. These crackers are very brittle.

I only use these types of biscuits to soak up the gravy. And especially with steamed things. I also like putting them in the foil packet when I am roasting fish whole.

They also work great as an appetizer base. With a paste of smoked herring and peppers.

Final plating of the cooked conch

But I especially love them in this steamed dish.

This pairs great with some plain old white rice. Kinda like some creole shrimp does with rice.

CLose up of the conch cooked with the water crackers

Or be like me and just pair it with your belly.

I would just sit and eat this all by itself. I guess the crackers acts like my rice.

Steamed conch with shrimp

And you see that water? So delicious. Any kind of steam thing is good with bread too.

I do the same with steamed mussels. Just soak up what's there.

Dip and eat and dip and eat.

How do you like your conch? Curried? Fried?

Check out some more seafood recipes:

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Delicious Steam Conch with Shrimp and Okra