Xardija’s Barbados Cou-Cou & Flying Fish

Xardija’s Bajan cou-cou and flying fish recipe is the ultimate presentation of the National Dish of Barbados. Every country has a dish that ssymbolizes the eating habits of its citizens and this is what Barbados is most famous for eating years gone by, despite the decline in consumption by the younger generation. For more about this savoury dish, see the instructions below:

Bajan Cou Cou Ingredients

8 Oz. Cornmeal
3 Oz. Okras
1 Finely Chopped Onion
4 Tbsp Butter
Salt to Taste


1. In a bowl, add cornmeal and cover with water. Set aside to soak.
2. Add onions and salt into 4 cups of boiling water.
3. Slice okras into rings and add to boiling water to cook until soft.
4. Strain the okra water into a bowl and set aside.
5. Add half of your butter and a quarter of the okra water. Add half of the soaked cornmeal and whisk vigorously to avoid lumps.
6. Slowly add the remainder of the soaked cornmeal and butter and whisk.
7. Continue to add the okra water and whisk vigorously. Until you reach a smooth consistency.
8. Allow the meal to cook; the surface of the cou cou should have air pockets resembling bubbles once it is finished.
9. Combine okra slices to the cou cou and stir for 1 minute.
10. Best served with flying fish or saltfish.

*Whisk using a traditional kitchen whisk or a Bajan “cou cou” stick

Steamed Flying Fish Ingredients

10 flying fish fillets
1 Tsp salt
2 Tbsp Green Seasoning
½ tsp curry powder
2 thinly Sliced Onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1 sliced sweet pepper
1 oz. thyme
1 oz. Marjoram
½ oz. Celery
½ oz. Chopped parsley
2 sliced tomatoes
1 tsp lime juice or 2 whole limes
2 cups water
¼ cup of butter
1 tsp pepper sauce (optional)


1. In a basin, add fillets with lime juice and salt to soak for 3 minutes
2. Rinse the fish thoroughly with water then massage with green seasoning.
3. Roll fillets into a barrel starting from the short end. Secure with a toothpick to avoid unraveling.
4. In a hot saucepan, place the butter to melt; then add onions, curry powder and garlic and sauté.
5. Add tomatoes, sweet peppers and fresh herbs and sauté for 2 minutes
6. Slowly add water to the pan and bring to a simmer
7. Place fish fillets into the sauce and simmer until cooked.
8. Served with Bajan cou-cou

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