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Monday, December 2, 2013

National Fritters Day: Keys Fisheries Conch Fritter Recipe

Photo by Jing a Ling
Since today is National Fritters Day, I thought it would be an appropriate time to celebrate the popular Keys' delicacy--the conch fritter. No food is more synonymous with Keys heritage than the sweet meat of the queen conch. Conch became a staple food for the settlers of the Keys in the early 1800’s when people from the Bahamas began migrating here, bringing their love of the sea snail with them. The first people who called themselves “conchs” were British sympathizers who escaped to the Bahamas during the American Revolution proclaiming that rather than fight, they would eat conch. As their descendants made their way back to Key West, they brought the name with them. Conch takes three to five years to mature and grows to be about one foot long and five pounds. They live on sandy bottoms, among beds of seagrass in warm shallow tropical waters near coral reef habitats. Sadly, the snail was subject to overharvesting and was put on the endangered species list in the United States. Luckily, it's still available from the Caribbean islands. Celebrate National Fritters Day by whipping up a batch of conch fritters using this recipe from Keys Fisheries Market and Marina in Marathon:

  • 1 lb. ground Conch 
  • 1 cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 cup Chopped Peppers (Green and Yellow Mixed)
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1 tbs. Key Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary (Crush Before Adding)
  • 4 cloves Crushed Garlic
  • 2 tbs Chopped Parsley
  • 4 cups Pancake Mix
Add ingredients in the order listed and mix well. Spoon 1 inch size fritters into fryer with 365 degree oil until fritters are a deep brown. Makes about 3 dozen fritters. Fritter batter freezes well, but you must saute the onions prior to adding to the mixture if you intend to freeze the mix.


  1. I love conch fritters! Thank you for the recipe, I was just thinking about these the other day and considering searching for a recipe.

    1. Glad I could help! I didn't even know there was a National Fritter day, but now I think I'll celebrate every year!