Categorized |Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Corn Cou Cou (Vegetarian + Gluten Free).

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As a kid I never had much love for this dish, but as I grew older (and moved away from home / the Caribbean), Corn Cou Cou became a fave of mine. Since mom could never convince us to eat corn Cou Cou it was rarely ever made in our home, except for the odd time she would make it for dad.. usually served with stew fish. While the cornmeal and okra are the ‘constant’ ingredients in Cou Cou, you’ll find that the technique and supporting cast of ingredients will differ as you visit kitchens across the Caribbean.

Note: While the technique will be a bit different than the traditional way of making Cou Cou, I assure you the end result is simply delicious.

You’ll Need…

1 cup corn meal (fine grain)
2 cloves garlic diced fine
1 tablespoon butter
2 sprigs thyme
1 small onion
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust)
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
8-10 okra
1 pimento pepper (diced bell pepper could work -2-3 tablespoon)

Important: If doing this recipe Gluten Free please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.

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Heat the butter on a medium flame in a deep saucepan (if doing this vegan – use coconut oil) . Go in with the diced onion, garlic, and pimento pepper, then reduce to low and cook gently for 3-4 minutes.

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Wash, pat dry (paper towels) and trim (remove the tips and stems) the okra. Then cut into 1/4 – 1/2 inch wheels. Add them to the pot and stir well..heat still on low. Add the fresh thyme as well and if you wanted to put a little black pepper you can.

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After about 3 minutes add the coconut milk and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, add the salt and cook for about 5 minutes or until the okra is tender.

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Remove the pot off the heat and while stirring, start adding the cornmeal a little at a time. The goal is to mix it well, so we don’t end up with lumps.

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After all the cornmeal is in the pot and incorporated, place back on a medium/low flame, add the water and keep stirring. The goal now is to cook the cornmeal… takes about 4-6 minutes.

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Make sure all the liquid is absorbed and the Cou Cou is thick (it will thicken more as it cools) and here’s where you can taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

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Cou Cou is usually served with stewed meats or fish and besides being very ‘filling’ it’s a meal that’s very comforting for most people from the Caribbean. So while my technique may differ to the one my grandmother would use, I assure you.. you’ll definitely want to give my way a try.

How/what do you call Cou Cou? If you use a different name for it, kindly share it in the comment section below… I’d love to learn.

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8 Responses to “Corn Cou Cou (Vegetarian + Gluten Free).”

  1. Allistra says:

    Chris can I just say I just love your cooking methods, I enjoy your videos too, always make me laugh..love your humour….keep up the great work! I am also from Arima, residing in GA..I’m such a fan!

  2. Melanie Pereira says:

    My Daddy, from Antigua, called it fungi. Told us on other islands it was known as Cou-cou.

  3. Cheryl says:

    In Guyana we also called it could could. I haven’t had it in years. I will certainly try it as it is necessary for me to be on a gluten free diet. Thank you.

  4. Marine Omsby says:

    Chris! In Jamaica we call this dish Tun Cornmeal, as you we never liked it as children even as adults. In St Maarten it’s called Fungi and that’s where I’ve learnt to appreciate this dish, it’s sold as a meal UN restaurants. I’ve eaten it since living in the UK and I really enjoyed it, now I’m gonna some for myself. Thanks Chris.

  5. Zora says:

    Chris, I am Jamaican and yes we call it turn cornmeal. This was something we cooked and added scraps of fish and things that was left over and we would feed this to the dogs for their food. I make it for me to eat but I add all the things you included and I add cocked salt fish and a little scotch bonnet for flavor. When it is cooked and cold I slice it in thick slices dust with a little flour and fry in hot oil. Not healthy but yummy.

  6. Donna says:

    I love me some cou cou. My mom made with salted cod fish, or stewed bass fish. Mmmm. Panama in the house Chris. :)

  7. Pamela says:

    In St. Kitts we call this dish fungie. I have no idea if this is the correct spelling since I have never seen it written anywhere. My Mom cooked it regularly minus the coconut milk. Sometimes she added raisins. Our entire household enjoyed it. It was always served with stewed fish.

  8. paula says:

    In Jamaica, we call this tun cornmeal and same as in your household, we never liked it as children. You have given me an idea for lunch tomorrow.

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