Until Mike chose this destination for me, I had only a few images in mind: two Caribbean islands, the turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea, and everything that can go along with this dreamy picture. But Mike also chose the dish for me…
A challenge? Bring it on! This week, I am cooking fungie, also called cou-cou, accompanied by a saltfish buljolde. In other words, salted cod with vegetables.
The cuisine from Antigua and Barbuda is mostly based on local products such as fish. The fish most commonly used is flying fish. Salted fish such as cod is also often cooked.
Fungie is a word derived from the Italian word funghi meaning mushrooms. The first surprise is that the recipe does not contain fungus. The word “mushroom” is actually the term used for a local porridge accompanied by okra.
Enjoy this delicious recipe from the islands!
- 12 okras
- ½ lb cornmeal
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 lb cod (4 pieces)
- 3 tomatoes , diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot , cut into strips
- 1 leek , sliced
- 1 red pepper , cut into strips
- 1 red onion
- 1 red hot pepper , sliced
- ½ bunch cilantro
- Peanut oil
- ½ cup water
Mix cornmeal and a cup of cold water in a large container. Put aside.
Cut the ends of the okras and cut in ½ inch (1cm) slices. Boil the second cup of water and bleach the okras.
Boil the third cup of water and set aside.
- Slowly add the wet cassava flour mixture to the okra and water. Mix vigorously with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
- Reduce the heat and slowly add the reserved cup of boiling water. Stir vigorously. The mixture should be like a jelly and should come away from sides of the pan (like a puff pastry).
- Simmer over low heat, covered, about 20 minutes, stirring regularly. The fungie should be quite compact.
- Finally add the butter.
- Chop cilantro, onion and garlic with a hand blender or a chopper. Put aside.
- Put a little oil in a pot and heat over medium heat. Pour the onion, garlic and cilantro mixture. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cover and simmer 5 minutes over low heat.
- Add water, cod and the rest of the vegetables, toss, reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes.
- Increase the heat after cooking to reduce the sauce if it is too liquid.