Muffins recipes

National dish of Barbados

flag of Barbados

  • Independence: 30. 11. 1966
  • Capital: Bridgetown
  • Official language: English
  • Population: 274 200
  • Area: 431 km2
  • International code: BB
  • Currency: Barbadian dollar ($)
map of Barbados

Cou-Cou and Flying Fish

Ingredients for Cou-Cou:

  • 2 cups water
  • 10 small okra, finely sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound fine cornmeal

Ingredients for Flying Fish:

  • 8 Flying Fish (about 1 1/2 pounds), scaled, boned, and butterflied
  • 3 tablespoons Bajan seasoning (also called green seasoning)
  • Lime juice, as needed
  • Salt, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons catsup
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water or fish stock
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs, like dill, chives, parsley, and thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Cou-Cou and Flying Fish is national food (dish) of Barbados


Make the Cou-Cou: Combine the water, okra, red pepper, salt, and hot sauce in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until very thick. Transfer half of the okra mixture to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the okra mixture in the saucepan, and reduce the heat to low. While stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, sprinkle in the cornmeal a little at a time, and cook until thick. Add the remaining okra mixture and 2 tablespoons butter and stir until smooth. Cover to keep warm. Make the Flying Fish: Rub the flesh side of the fish with the Bajan seasoning and lime juice, and season with the salt, to taste. Roll each fish up tightly and secure with a toothpick. Heat the butter in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until soft. Add the catsup, curry, mustard, and sugar and stir. Add the water, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Arrange the rolled fish in the skillet and cover with the bell peppers, tomato, herbs, and hot sauce. Cover and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Divide the cou-cou among the plates, make a well in each, and spoon the fish and sauce over the top.


Coucou and flying is a recipe made with corn meal, okra, flying fish and topped with an aromatic sauce of tomato, onion, chives, thyme, fresh pepper, garlic and other herbs.  The fish can be steamed, battered & fried or grilled.  Coucou is also known as Fungi in other caribbean islands such as Dominica, Antigua and the Virgin Islands.  The Italians prepare a similar version of coucou called pollenate.  The recipe for coucou was passed down from African slaves who came to the island in 1644. The recipe requires consistent stirring of the coucou until it reaches a smooth, even distribution of ingredients and a firmness to be eaten with a fork.  Bajans have invented a tool just for this purpose called a “coucou stick.” Barbados has many popular local fish such as kingfish, tuna, barracuda and red snapper, but they are hailed as “The Land of the Flying Fish.”  Flying fish is very prevalent in warm water, and they do fly!  They can fly distances of up to 100 yards above the water’s surface at around 30 miles per hour.  This allows them to escape predators such as swordfish, tunas and other larger fish.  They are identified by a silvery-blue skin, their large fins and lopsided tails.  In fact, the image of the flying fish can be seem on the national logo for Barbados.

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