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How to Make a Traditional Conch Salad from Scratch

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting any one of the 30 or so inhabited islands of the Bahamas, you have likely either had or heard of conch salad, as it’s indeed their signature dish. Now, a good conch salad is one that’s packed full of raw/live conch, veggies, citrus juices and zesty spices for maximum flavor and utterly enjoyable satiation. During one of my visits to the beautiful island of Nassau, I had the privilege of having a full batch of traditional conch salad made fresh for me by Mr. Tyrone Culmer, one of the towns best culinary talents, as part of an exclusive event catered by Circa1890 Lounge.

Traditional Conch Salad 13 Nina Cherie Franklin PhDAfter I repeatedly touted my self-proclaimed status as the "Salad Connoisseur of the United States" he was gracious enough to walk me through his entire preparation, step-by-step, which was undeniably priceless! So, now I’m sharing this all-so delectable recipe with you. Follow these steps closely and you're less than 15 minutes away from the best tasting traditional Bahamian conch salad you've ever experienced.

What You Need:

-1 pound of conch meat (3 large or 4 medium conch), preferably raw/live
-1 medium green bell pepper, diced
-1 medium tomato, diced
-1 medium cucumber, diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-1 habanero chili pepper, thinly diced
-Juice of 1 small orange
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-Juice of 1 lime
-1 teaspoon of Caribbean-style hot pepper sauce, to taste
-1/2 teaspoon of salt, to taste
-1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

How To Prepare:

Traditional Conch Salad 7 Nina Cherie Franklin PhDTraditional Conch Salad 6 Nina Cherie Franklin PhDSlice and dice the thin side of the conch meat from the fatter trunk (about 1/4-inch dice). Next, slice the trunk into strips, cut the strips in half, and then dice them. Place the conch meat into a large aluminum or glass bowl. 

Click here to learn how to shell and clean conch.

Traditional Conch Salad 8 Nina Cherie Franklin PhDAdd the bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, onion, chili pepper, and citrus juices to the bowl and stir the mixture. You can then season the salad to taste with hot pepper sauce and red pepper flakes; however, go easy on the salt as a little goes a long way. Now, like a true Bahamian, I prefer my salad hot and spicy so I tend to get a little heavy-handed with the pepper sauce and flakes. If you're not a fan of heat, just do you!

Traditional Conch Salad 12 Nina Cherie Franklin PhDOnce you’ve seasoned the conch salad to your liking, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to chill for about an hour before serving time.

Tip: For a unique flavor twist and added nutrition, include freshly chopped avocado and spinach in your salad blend.

What I love most about salads in general is the fact that you can sneak a ton of veggies into your diet by eating them (learn what it takes to build a healthy salad by clicking here). At a mere 750 calories per batch, this delicious conch salad recipe makes 4-6 tapas-style servings packed full of protein along with key vitamins, minerals and powerful disease-fighting antioxidants including capsaicin, lycopene and organosulfur compounds. My Bahamian friends tell me that it’s also quite the libido-booster.

If you’re ever in Nassau, be sure to get your fix of this authentic conch salad and other mouthwatering Bahamian tapas-style dishes by visiting the Circa1890 Lounge owned by Chef Anthony Stubbs. Located near clusters of scenic beaches this is truly one of the most beautifully unique lounges the island has to offer.

For more of the latest and greatest in health, fitness, and nutrition, "Like" me on Facebook at Nina Cherie, PhD of Complete Health Solutions and follow me on Twitter at @NinaCheriePhD.

To learn what it takes to achieve and maintain good health through weight control, click here and pick up a copy of my book Leaving Your Fat Behind.