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How To Cook Curry Conch Jamaican Style?

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How To Cook Curry Conch Jamaican Style | Image Source: TripadvisorHow To Cook Curry Conch Jamaican Style | Image Source: Tripadvisor

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

If you don’t believe anything else said about Jamaica, I want to reassure you that our food being absolutely delicious is true! While you might be familiar with our more popular dishes like Jerk Chicken, Oxtail and Curry Goat, I think it's safe to assume you haven’t tried the more eccentric dishes. Let’s say curried conch, perhaps?

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Conch, a type of sea snail, is not among the more popularly eaten proteins in Jamaica, but it is widely loved by many. Here, conch is most often had in soups or curried. My favourite way is curried and I’m excited to share this recipe with you.

But just before we dive in, here are some common questions you may want answered before you start preparing the dish.

What's the best way to cook conch?
Conch can be cooked in various ways, including grilling, frying, or stewing. However, pressure cooking is often preferred to ensure tenderness and infuse flavours efficiently.

How do you remove conch from the shell?
To remove conch from its shell, you'll need to cut around the base of the shell using a knife and pry it open. Then, detach the conch from the shell using a spoon or knife.

What is the best way to tenderise conch meat?
Tenderising conch meat can be achieved through methods such as pounding, marinating, or pressure cooking. Pressure cooking is often favoured for its ability to tenderize tough meats effectively.

How long does it take to cook conch?
The cooking time for conch varies depending on the method used and the desired tenderness. Pressure cooking typically takes around 45 minutes, while simmering may take 30 to 45 minutes.

What do you eat conch with?
Conch can be enjoyed with a variety of sides, including rice and peas, fried plantains, and steamed vegetables. When curried, it is most commonly served with plain white rice.

How To Cook Curry Conch Jamaican Style

Alright, now we're ready! Without further delay, this is how you cook curry conch Jamaican style.

Jamaican Curried Conch Recipe


  • 1 pound conch (removed from the shell)
  • 1 lime or 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 hot pepper/scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 sprig scallion
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Begin by washing the conch meat with water and lime juice to remove any impurities. Discard the water after washing.
  2. Tenderise the conch using your preferred method. Pressure cooking is recommended for about 45 minutes to ensure tenderness. Ensure the conch is cut into bite-size pieces for easy cooking.
  3. In a pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté minced garlic, chopped onion, and scallion until fragrant and translucent.
  4. Stir in the curry powder and sauté for about 5 minutes until the curry becomes fragrant and slightly grainy. This step allows the spices to bloom, enhancing the dish's flavour.
  5. Add the prepared conch to the pan, ensuring it is well-coated with the curry mixture. Sauté the conch for a few minutes to infuse it with the aromatic flavours of the curry.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk and water, and add the hot pepper/scotch bonnet pepper for heat. Allow the mixture to simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes until the conch meat is tender and infused with the flavours of the curry and coconut.
  7. Test the tenderness of the conch meat. If it's not as tender as desired, add a little more water and continue to simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Ensure the gravy is thickened to your liking before removing it from the stove. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve and Enjoy.

Conch is very pungent, so you probably won’t be able to have a lot at once, especially if you are having it for the first time. I am sure once you have tried it, you will want more.

While my first thought was to share the recipe for this delicious dish with you, I think it's only right to tell you the great health benefits you will be getting too. So, while you chow down on your steaming plate of curry conch and your side of choice, why not read about how nutritious conch is?


  • Calories: approximately 125 calories
  • Protein: around 25 grams
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: less than 1 gram

Conch is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, including:

Vitamin B12: Vital for nerve function and the production of red blood cells.

Iron: Important for oxygen transport in the blood and overall energy metabolism.

Zinc: Supports immune function, wound healing, and cell division.

Copper: Essential for the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of healthy bones and connective tissues.

Selenium: Acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and supporting thyroid function.

Magnesium: Important for muscle and nerve function, bone health, and energy metabolism.

Health Benefits of Eating Conch:

  • High-Protein Content: Conch is an excellent source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. Including protein-rich foods like conch in your diet can help support muscle health and promote satiety, aiding in weight management.

  • Low in Fat: Conch is naturally low in fat, particularly saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy protein option. A diet low in saturated fat can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Conch is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and selenium, which play crucial roles in various bodily functions, including immune function, energy metabolism, and blood cell formation.

  • Boosts Energy Levels: The iron content in conch helps transport oxygen throughout the body, supporting energy production and combating fatigue. Incorporating iron-rich foods like conch into your diet can help maintain optimal energy levels.

  • Supports Immune Function: The combination of vitamins and minerals in conch, such as vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium, supports a healthy immune system. Consuming conch regularly may help strengthen the body's defenses, against infections and illnesses.

  • Promotes Bone Health: Conch contains essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and copper, which are important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Including conch in your diet can contribute to overall bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

  • Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: While the omega-3 fatty acid content in conch may not be as high as in fatty fish like salmon, it still provides a beneficial source of these heart-healthy fats. Omega-3s have been linked to reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular health, and cognitive function.

This dish might not be on everyone's top ten list, but after trying it, it just might! Give it a go and be sure to let me know what you think.

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Return to Uncommon Jamaican Foods from How To Cook Curry Conch Jamaican Style?
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References & Sources For How To Cook Curry Conch Jamaican Style?

  1. Renz (2022) Curry conch, ThisBagoGirl. Available at: (Accessed: 23 March 2024).
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