Image © Tchakayiti
“…to me, one cannot fully embrace a beach experience without some lambi. A beach day is dull without a plate full of dozens of lambi. Every Haitian knows that.” – Annick Megie, Tchakayiti
What is Lambi?
Lambi, conch in English, are seashell mollusks, also known as sea snails. They are typically caught by divers close to the shore and can be eaten fully cooked à la creole, gratiné, or grilled, but my favourite way to eat them is boucané on a beach. I make a difference here between grilled and boucané as the former is prepared using previously frozen lambi while the latter is made using the live mollusks and therefore tastes like the sea – fresh and warm while retaining the sweet taste of the ocean that freshly caught seashells have.
Get a taste of grilled lambi at home…
This recipe is for those of you who have not yet (because anything is possible!) had the opportunity to taste our Lambi Boucané, to still get a sweet taste of the ocean right from the comfort if your home.
- Lambi conch
- Papaya leaves
- Sour orange juice
Cut the lambi into thin slices and rub them with papaya leaves.
To a bowl, add the leaves along with the lambi pieces, water and sour orange juice and let soak overnight.
In the morning, take the lambi out of the water and season with pepper and some more sour orange juice.
Fire up the grill and cook the lambi making sure to turn only once. The flesh will darken as the lambi cooks. Serve with a spicy hot lime sauce of your choice.
- In Haiti, papaya leaves are commonly used to tenderize meat. - For this recipe my mom and I omitted salt and spices for fear it would jeopardize the tenderness and taste of the lambi. We made sure to only flip it once to avoid overcooking. The result? Some tender grilled lambi!