Coucou is a traditional dish of Barbados
Picture of a Coucou

Cou cou, served with flying fish is the national dish of Barbados. Somewhat similar to polenta or grits, Cou-cou is made with corn meal and okra.

Here’s what you’ll need:

8oz corn meal
3oz okras
1 medium onion (chopped)
3 tbsp butter
water
salt to taste
In a bowl, combine the cornmeal with sufficient water to cover the meal. Set aside.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the okras and slice into rings. Place the sliced okras in a saucepan with water, chopped onion and salt. Bring to a medium boil for a few minutes until the okras soften.

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

Add about a quarter of the okra 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 we use a flat wooden spoon 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.

Enjoy!

Best served with fish and lots of gravy!

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