I have been trying to eat more seafood during Lent, and I decided to share my recipe for Conch Meat with Cabbage. Usually, I would cook conch meat the traditional Haitian way, Creole Conch or Conch with Tomatoes, but I today decided to make one of my favorite ways to eat conch, with cabbage. Making a stew with conch is a lengthy process because frozen conch takes a long time to cook. If you can find fresh conch, this dish will be more delicious.
The other main ingredient, the cabbage, is the perfect vegetables because it’s taste is not too strong when cooked. Adding Carrots is another option that brings some sweetness to the dish.
Pronounced “konk,” fresh conch meat does not take long to cook and taste much more refreshing of course as one would imagine. If living in the Caribbean, you will have access to fresh conch. Although on the expensive side, if your pockets can afford this extravagance once in a while, it is well worth it.
Conchs live in the Caribbean, West Indies and Mediterranean. Frozen conchs are available in seafood markets where the makeup of the population is diverse. In areas where Caribbean and West Indians people are primarily located, a box of frozen conch is always available especially during the major holidays.
Now that I have written a small introduction on how the Conch Meat with Cabbage was created and provided a brief information about conch, I have to share a summary of how it is prepared and describe its taste.
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First, I boiled the conch meat the usual way, in a pressure cooker with a bouquet garni, garlic, scallion, lime juice and water for about 55 minutes. The muscle is then pan-fried in tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes with onions and followed by the veggies (cabbage and carrots) and oyster sauce.
I love cooking seafood with Oyster Sauce because it is full of flavors with a little bit of sweetness. The sweet taste is not too overwhelming when spices and hot peppers are added. I use a low sodium Oyster Sauce because it can be high in sodium. Hope you like it.
- 4 pieces - conch whole and cleaned
- 1 bouquet garni parsley and thyme
- 2 scallions chopped
- 4 garlic cloves - chopped finely
- 1 lime - juiced
- 5 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce unsalted
- 1/4 cup fresh tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet peppers mixed pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp hot pepper - scotch or habanero finely chopped
- 1/2 cup shallots sliced
- 4 cups cabbage finely shredded
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 cup conch cooking water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pressure cooker, add cleaned whole conch meat, bouquet garni, lime juice and water. Cook for at least 55 minutes. The conch may take longer to cook depending on size. Remove conch from cooking water when fully cooked. Reserve water and cut conch meat in medium size cubes and set aside. Cooking conch water is need to cook veggies.
- In a saucepan, heat oil, add tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes, cook for 3 minutes and add conch meat. Cook for another 3 minutes, add veggies and cook while stirring for 4 minutes to blend all ingredients, add about 1 cup of conch cooking water and oyster sauce. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the veggies are cooked but still crunchy. Add salt and pepper to taste. (add additional conch water or regular hot if necessary). Serve hot with grains or root vegetables.