Recipe: Red Conch Chowder

Serve with dinner rolls or Bimini Bread

Serve 6-8

Bahamian Conch Chowder is light and brothy, not creamy like the famous New England version. Leftovers thicken slightly, due to the starches that leach out of the potatoes. I might actually prefer this chowder the next day.


1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, diced
1 ham bone (I used a smoked ham shank)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp tomato paste
2 carrots, sliced into half-moons
4-5 potatoes, cubed
1 cup clam stock
1 lb conch, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
water, to cover everything


1. In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, green pepper, and Anaheim pepper, over medium heat until softened. Add ham bone, tomatoes, paste, carrots, potatoes, clam stock, conch, thyme, bay leaves, and water to cover.

Layering of flavors with a smoked shank makes for good chowder

Frozen conch meat comes clean and ready to dice.

2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer covered for at least 2.5 hours, or until conch breaks down and gets tender. I simmered my chowder for 5 hours and all the flavors had melded wonderfully.

NOTE: If you try to serve this chowder prior to simmering for 2.5 hours, your conch will be tougher than rubber. You have been warned.

Add water as necessary to keep vegetables covered

Bahamian Conch Chowder, yum!

Bahamian conch chowder

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  1. Thyme sounds perfect…

  2. Where does one find conch meat?

  3. Ingredients are fine. However the handling of conch is incorrect and there is no need to simmer 5 hrs. Always tenderize conch first. One quick simple way to tenderize conch is to wrap it in plastic then beat it making sure you flatten out the meaty portion. I promise you your conch will never be rubbery.

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