How To Make Barbados’ Cou-Cou

Cou-cou served with flying fish, is the national dish of Barbados.

The fish can be steamed, fried, or grilled.

The cou-cou is made from cornmeal and okra seasoned with salt and pepper.

Here’s how it is prepared:

8oz cornmeal

3oz okras

1 medium onion (chopped)

3 tbsp butter


salt to taste

In a bowl, combine the cornmeal with sufficient water to cover the meal. Set it aside.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the okra and slice them into rings.

Place the sliced okra in a saucepan with water, chopped onion, and salt.

Bring to a medium boil for a few minutes until the okra softens.

Strain the okra into a bowl, setting aside the liquid.

Add about a quarter of the okras liquid back into the saucepan and add the soaked meal.

You’ll need a whisk or wooden stick to stir the cou-cou as it cooks.

In Barbados, a flat wooden spoon is used, known as a ‘cou-cou stick.’

Stir constantly to avoid lumping.

Add more of the okra liquid gradually.

You can tell you’re nearly finished when the cou-cou starts to bubble gently at the surface.

At this point, add in the cooked okra slices and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

The dish is ready to serve! Place the cou-cou on a plate and top each dish with a fillet of fish and a healthy helping of sauce and enjoy your taste of Barbados.

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Edited by Jesus Chan

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