In Singapore, they call it “gong gong.” They’re edible sea snails more popularly known as conch (pronounced “conk”), steamed and dipped in a special sauce. This delicacy is often served by street vendors and in market stalls that offer other cooked local fares like barbecued seafood or sambal (chilli sauce) kang kong.
My first encounter with conch was during a trip to The Bahamas. I spent a full day in Nassau, exploring local cuisine and different conch recipes like conch salad and conch fritters. Upon my return to the U.S., I had always wondered where I could get conch to cook up the recipes I picked up from the Bahamian-born server at one of the restaurants I visited. The closest I could get to procuring the sea snails was through a food company that manufactured and distributed canned conch meat.
A few weeks ago, as I was shopping at my favorite Asian grocery store in San Jose, I was excited to see that they sold packaged, frozen conch, with shells intact! Now I can prepare conch dishes on a regular basis, especially when I’m in that mood for reminishing my wonderful culinary experience in The Bahamas!
Steamed conch can be served as appetizer (they’re good with San Miguel beer!) or with steamed rice and hot broth!
1 lb conch
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
1/3 cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 pc red bird’s eye chilli pepper
1 pc green bird’s eye chilli pepper
1 medium lime juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 cups water
Lightly scrub, wash and rinse the conch shells
Pour the water into a pot
Add in the ginger
Bring to a boil
Place the conch shells in a steamer basket over the boiling water
Steam for about 15 minutes
In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, garlic, chilli pepper, sugar
Squeeze the lime over the sauce and stir well
Place the steamed conch in a serving bowl, with the dipping sauce on the side
Serve with forks or toothpick to fish out the meat from the shells