One of my favorite things to do in the Abacos, is sampling the Conch Salad. It is this mans very favorite food in the Bahamas. It's refreshing, non fattening and tasty. The prime ingredients are conch (obviously) tomato, onion, celery, cucumber and sometimes Green Pepper. To this they add a little line or sometimes orange juice, plus for spice worcestershire and or tabasco sauce.
It's all finely chopped up and served in a cup with a spoon. It's better than Ice cream. Each vendor or shop makes it their own way and likewise each varies slightly in taste from one to another. One of my favorite spots is the street vendor you will see just a few hundred feet to your right when leaving the Conch Inn and just past and next to Mangoes Restaurant in Marsh Harbour. His stand that has been there for years. Get your self a pint. It's also sold in the New Plymouth markets and usually off the shelves by mid morning. We've found only two restaurants that have this as a regular item on the menu: The Wrecking Tree on Green Turtle and the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay (dinner only). The good news is as of 2007 a new store opened in Hope Town called Salty's Fish Market where you can find all you want of this refreshing island treat. I'm sure there are others too.
Sandy’s Conch / Scungilli Salad Recipe
Cool and refreshing.
Serve for lunch or in place of any cold soup like gazpacho or as a before dinner salad.
Makes 8-10 servings
1 lb Conch Meat
Chop 1 Large Onion
Chop 1 Large Green Pepper
Chop 2, 8 inch Celery stalks
Peeled and Chop Half Cucumber
Chop 2 Large Tomatoes
2 Ounces Lime Juice
2 Ounces Wine Vinegar
1 Ounce Olive Oil (optional)
One Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Half Teaspoon salt
Quarter Teaspoon pepper
Spice up with of Hot Pepper Sauce to your liking.
A little bit more or less of any ingredient is OK - Amounts are approximate.
Cut up conch into pea size pieces (1/4”) Combine Conch and Onion with all condiments listed. Stir well. If you have time let sit for 3-4 hours before adding the remaining Vegetables and stir again. Keep refrigerated. Conch Salad always tastes better the second day and keeps for 3 to 4.
Note: It is sometimes recommended that conch be pounded prior to preparation. Large pieces for cooking cracked conch, yes, but since is being cut to 1/4 inch pieces this writer finds it completely unnecessary. Conch is shipped to the US fish markets frozen, and in most cases, the freezing / thawing process usually takes the place of the pounding of the Conch.
If you live in the northeast or near a large metropolitan area where conch is not available use its northern cousin the Whelk, commonly called scungilli and found in fish markets especially where there is an Italian clientele. Don't let its darker color deter you as it will turn white in the marinade and it will taste no different. I can attest to that.