They are so easy and SO GOOD – You just have to taste them.
Do you say it like “kr·i·bee·uhn”, or like “Care-i-bee-an” ? Google has a voice that says it in case you want to be proper. But I personally say it the second way.
I digress. Conch Fritters are pretty much the entire Caribbean (however you say it) wrapped up into a little deep-fried ball of happiness with sauce on top.
As a kid I had the opportunity to visit the Bahamas and there was a place called the Coco Bar. They had the absolute best conch fritters (and grouper fingers, but that’s a different post). Ah, if only if only I could go back!
So, in honor of the Coco Bar, I am re-creating their incredible food and sharing it with anyone who will listen.
I used gluten free flour in this recipe because, why not? So many people are trying to limit gluten these days that it just makes sense to get on board every once in a while. Also, I was curious to see how the puffy-ness of the Bob’s red mill GF flour blend would work with these fritters. Fritters are supposed to be puffy and light – they aren’t supposed to be dense and full of gluten. So I’m highly recommending using gluten free flour in this recipe – it’s truly worth it.
I also substituted the conch for corn – because conch can be hard to find. However – my friends at Willingham Seafood Co. in Valparaiso are hooking me up with conch soon, so stay tuned for that version too – I know it’s going to be great. If you can find conch in your local store freezer aisle, try it out! Otherwise, if you’re in the Valparaiso area go to their store, I believe they have it in the freezer section.
So those are your options for this – gluten-free or not, vegetarian or not. Now, let’s get ready to do some cooking.
3/4 Cup Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 GF Flour Blend (or AP optional – you pick!)
1/2 Cup Milk
1 1/4 Cup Fresh Corn Kernels, off the cobb (or substitute with lump crab meat, lobster, shrimp or conch!)
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper (green is fine too)
3/4 Cup Celery, finely chopped (about 2 stalks)
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
Cayenne – just a pinch, but add more if you like it spicy!
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil (~16 oz if you are using a 1 qt sauce pot) you want the oil about 2.5-3″ deep
3 Tbsp Willingham Seafood Co. Cocktail Sauce (or whatever your usual cocktail sauce preference is)
3 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Chipotle, ground
1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
First, heat your oil in a pot to 350 F. If you don’t have a thermometer for this (who really does, anyways?) test it by dropping the tiniest drop of batter in the oil. If it doesn’t start sputtering and bubbling right away, the oil isn’t hot enough. Alternatively, if it does and the proceeds to burn too quickly, you know your oil is too hot. I like to to use just below medium-low heat.
Make the fritters by whisking the egg in a medium size bowl.
Add in the GF flour and milk.
Once combined, add in the rest of the ingredients. The mixture should be thick, but not clumpy and not liquid-y. The mixture will thicken slightly as it sits while the oil continues heating.
Once the oil is ready, take a spoon and gently dollop the fritters into the hot oil. Let them cook for about 3 minutes and turn them over as needed to get even browning. When done, place on a rack or sheet pan layered with paper towels. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt if desired.
While the fritters are cooking, make the sauce. Just mix everything together and taste it – make it your own! If you want more cocktail flavor (like I do!) add another tablespoon of that. If you prefer creamy and rich, go for another tablespoon of Mayo! Same for the chipotle and brown sugar.
When you’re all done cooking, take the oil off the heat and wait for it to cool completely. Get a small strainer and strain it into a mason jar or air-tight container, this way you can keep it on hand for another two rounds of frying if desired.
There you have it! The quickest and easiest fritters and sauce!
Let me know what you think and how your batch turns out! Can’t wait to hear from you.