I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys!
Anyone familiar with Bahamian food knows that conch is a frequent feature in our delicacies. Bahamians love it so much that it’s pretty much everywhere. Conch chowder, cracked conch (basically deep-fried, battered conch served usually with fries), conch salad (think ceviche), conch fritters and the list goes on.
Top on my list was always conch fritters. There was a time in my life when I ate them every week. My friends and I would go to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay, where every Sunday night without fail, I would order a plate of fritters and a Miami Vice daiquiri.
That was years before I gave up eating animals. If you truly love conch, the best thing to do is leave it off your plate. According to this 2017 Miami Herald article, conch populations in Florida are in trouble and researchers are worried about declining young conchs in the Bahamas.
“A marine preserve in the Bahamas famed for its abundance of queen conchs and intended to help keep the country’s population thriving is missing something: young conchs. Researchers studying the no-take park off Exuma, one of hundreds throughout the Caribbean, found that over the last two decades, the number of young has sharply declined as adult conchs steadily matured and died off. The population hasn’t crashed yet like it has in the Florida Keys, but in the last five years, the number of adult conchs in one of the Bahamas’ healthiest populations dropped by 71 percent,” the article reported.
Humans are overfishing this treasured resource, and if we aren’t careful, the Bahamian conch could one day go extinct. If that isn’t reason not to eat this sea-snail, I don’t know what is.
Lately I’ve been craving a vegan version of fritters. There’s just something about deep-fried food that makes you remember your childhood right? Sweet corn is a perfect substitute for conch in this recipe, but you can also use mushrooms and I’m sure they will turn out just as delish. I added a few sheets of salty seaweed sheets (I used Annie Chun’s Seaweed Snacks, wasabi flavor) to give it more of a “fishy” taste but you can totally leave them out.
I’m happy to report that these fritters hit the spot. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. But the dipping sauce is what really pushes it over the top.
If you make these, please don’t skimp out on the sauce, because that’s part of the experience!
Bahamian-Style Corn Fritters
- For the fritters
- 1 quart oil for frying
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 flax egg
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
- Old Bay seasoning or cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn kernels
- ½ medium white onion, chopped
- ½ green pepper, chopped
- 4 small seaweed sheets, crushed (optional) For the dipping sauce
- 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of half a lime
- Half a tsp to one tsp of hot pepper sauce or hot sauce
- Prepare flax egg by mixing one tbsp of ground flax seeds with three tbsp water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Mix dipping sauce ingredients together then set aside. 3. Heat oil in pot or a deep fryer.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and spices, mix together.
- Add milk, flax egg and crushed seaweed sheets, if using. Mix together.
- Drop batter into hot oil, one rounded tablespoon at a time.
- Fry fritters until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce and enjoy!
Adapted from: Conch fritter recipe