Supposed to be Conch Ceviche

January 19, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

About a thousand years ago, on a cruise, I watched a dockman pull up a mesh bag of conch from the water, crack one open, hack it up and squeeze a variety of fresh citrus over it. He sprinkled some spices over top and handed it to me. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. I figured I would try and re-create it here. Now, the closest body of salt water from Colorado is, well, I guess if you want to be technical about it, it’s the Great Salt Lake in Utah. But the closest place you’re likely to find conch is several thousand miles away. This is a (mostly) accurate accounting of my conversation with Chris, the fish monger at my local Whole Foods:

Me: Hi Chris, it's Rachael. Do you have any conch?
Chris: Nope, sorry.
Me: Can you order any?
Chris: Hang on. (mumblemumblemumble). Uh, Rachael?
Me: Yes Chris?
Chris: We can order it, but.....(trailing off).
Me: But what?
Chris: It's 35 dollars a pound.
Me: Oh.
Chris: And you have to order it in 5 pound blocks
Me: Oh.
Long Silence.
Me: How are your scallops looking today?

Test Kitchen Notes

One bite of Niknud’s Supposed to be Conch Ceviche transports you to a sunny clime; a prescription to cure your winter blues could not be easier. Clean and bright, you bathe the scallops in a symphony of citrus juices, each imparting a slightly different note. Anchored by the bitter grapefruit, lime adds a tart punch, while orange complements the sweet shellfish. Jalapeno, red onion, avocado and orange segments add contrast in texture and flavor that make it difficult to stop eating. When enjoyed atop a crisp cracker or chip, as I did, it is easy to make a meal of this dish. I did add a pinch of salt at the end; to my palate, it sharpened the contrast in flavors. One note: I used fresh sea scallops instead of bay scallops and cut them into quarters. This added to the “cooking” time. Instead of 75 minutes, mine took a little over two hours. —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 12 ounces Bay scallops
  • 2 Oranges, segmented (the fancy way)
  • 1/3 cup Diced red onion
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed and sliced into thin half-moons
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 1/3 cup Torn cilantro leaves
  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and add the scallops. Cover and refrigerate until the scallops are 'cooked' through, stirring occasionally. Took mine about 75 minutes.
  2. While you're waiting for the scallops to be done, combine the red onion, segmented oranges (no bother if the juice drips in the bowl while your segmenting), lime zest and jalapeno.
  3. When the scallops are done, add them to the bowl (feel free to add a little extra citrus juice of your choice here if it seems a little dry) and stir. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Add salt and pepper if you like - I didn't.
  4. Thoughts: Didn't have time to try this version out, but I was noodling around in my brain with a Thai version as well. Use only lime juice with some sugar and a splash of fish sauce to 'cook' the scallops. Replace the jalapeno with thin rounds of those blazing hot thai finger peppers. Use thinly sliced shallots instead of red onion. Use mint instead of cilantro. Omit the avocado.
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Recipe by: Niknud

Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!

6 Reviews

sl(i)m January 26, 2012
Cannot WAIT to try this.
Niknud January 27, 2012
Thanks! Please let me know how it turns out!
LeBec F. January 19, 2012
hopefully the editting will work itself out. i certainly did my share of it for my entries. you have to remember not to click the contest name on your edited page, or the photo entry will duplicate itself.

bnut i really wrote you to say how much i enjoy laughing. and you are a funny girl! thanks much for the chuckles and the exc recipe.
Niknud January 19, 2012
My pleasure! Happy to provide a few laughs - my crazy adventures in cooking always end up a little different from where I intended them to go!
Niknud January 19, 2012
Sigh. Missing ingredients and can't seem to comment...I'll try this again.... The following ingredients should be shown above: 12 oz bay scallops, zest of 1 lime, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 1 jalapeno halved lengthwise with seeds/ribs removed and sliced into thin half-moons, 2 oranges segmented the fancy way, 1 diced avocado.
Niknud January 19, 2012
Ingredients not showing up. Editing futile. The following ingredients should be included: 12 oz bay scallops, zest of 1 lime, 2 oranges segmented (the fancy way), 1 jalapeno sliced lengthwise with the ribs/seeds removed and sliced into thin half-moons, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 1 diced avocado.