Recipe: Cou Cou (Barbados)


By Celina DeCastro

Cou cou derived from the island’s African ancestry and was considered a regular meal for the slaves who were brought from Africa to Barbados. This cornmeal and okra infused side dish when paired with flying fish, this creates the national dish of Barbados.  Cou Cou is considered like grits or polenta.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 oz of fine corn meal
  • 12 okras
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • Water
  • Salt to taste

What to do:

  1. Place cornmeal into a bowl, fill enough water to cover the cornmeal.
  2. Cut the stems off the top and bottom of the okras, and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  3. Put sliced okra in a saucepan with water, chopped onion and salt. Boil the combination over medium heat until the okras soften.
  4. Strain okras from water and set aside the liquid
  5. Add a quarter of the okra liquid into saucepan and add the soaking cornmeal, stir constantly to avoid cornmeal lumping together
  6. Gradually add more of the okra liquid, once the cou cou starts bubbling gently at the surface, add the cooked okra slices and continue stirring for another 3 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and add butter.
  8. Serve to hungry friends and family


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here