Conch Wontons

If visiting Eleuthera during low season, or any Bahama out-island for that matter, the unsuspecting tourist can expect to discover their fair share of hurdles. The same can even be said for the domestic tourist like myself. Upon leaving a bustling and busy Nassau harbour for the quiet and sleepy 110 mile island in October, we arrived to an island in full hurricane hibernation. Nearly every hotel closed, all beaches footprint-free and instead of restaurant tables crowded by sun-kissed bodies, they were heavy with stacked chairs. Although, much to my surprise, the latter proved to be quite an unexpected blessing in disguise.

With our favourite go-to eateries boarded shut for the season, we ventured off our well trodden culinary-path. Our grumbling bellies leading us to The Front Porch in Hatchet Bay where upon entering, as if on cue, the owner said, “Foreigners are here to make a million. I am here to make a living.” Here being a restaurant looking out to a harbour, a single moored sailboat and where we would discover Bahamian dishes served with an noteworthy dollop of culinary flair. On our plates: curried crawfish served atop steamed rice, lightly breaded grouper fresh from the sea, and wontons overstuffed with conch. The latter a non-traditional take on the conch fritter – a true Bahamian favourite – and a recipe I immediately wished to recreate once home. Such a recipe will serve as a go-to appetizer and will always remind me of our first introduction to a restaurant that’s more than deserving of being added to our list of favourite culinary experiences in The Bahamas.

8 oz of cream cheese
1 tsp of lobster base or a chicken stock cube
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 clove finely grated garlic
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp minced green onion
8 -12 ounces of conch
1 pkg. wonton wrappers
Safflower oil for deep frying

After tenderizing the conch combine cream cheese, lobster or chicken base, pepper, garlic, ginger and lemon, stirring well with a fork. Fold in onions and conch. Stuff and fold wonton wrappers then fry until golden brown. Serve hot alongside a pepper jelly or spicy mayo for dipping.

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