Caribbean Cornmeal Cou-Cou

Caribbean Cornmeal Cou-Cou

Learn how to make this classic Caribbean cornmeal cou-cou recipe that is perfect for polenta lovers.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 5 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients.
  2. Step 2

    Soak the cornmeal in the cold water for 5 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    In a large pot, heat the oil and gently sauté the onions, garlic, and thyme for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Add the sliced okra to the pot and sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Step 5

    Pour the boiling water into the pot with the onion-okra mixture and let the vegetables boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    Using a slotted spoon, remove the okra and onions to a small bowl and set them aside.
  7. Step 7

    Pour half of the liquid from the pot into a small bowl and reserve for later use.
  8. Step 8

    Turn the heat to low and simmer. Add the soaked cornmeal, plus the salt and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir constantly using a whisk to avoid lumps and keep the cornmeal mixture from scorching.
  9. Step 9

    As the cornmeal begins to dry out, add the reserved cooking liquid in stages, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cornmeal is cooked. This process takes about 90 minutes. Stir the cou-cou at 15-minute intervals to ensure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  10. Step 10

    As the mixture begins to break away clean from the sides of the pot, add the okra and onions back and stir to incorporate fully.
  11. Step 11

    Let the cou-cou continue to cook until it is firm but not stiff. The cou-cou should break away easily from the sides of the pot. Another way to check is to insert the wooden spoon into the middle of the cou-cou and see if it stands up—it also should be easily removed from the mixture.
  12. Step 12

    Generously butter a bowl with the remaining butter, and once the mixture is properly cooked, pour it into the bowl, swirling it around to form a mold.
  13. Step 13

    Invert the bowl onto a serving platter so the cou-cou drops out in a nicely shaped mound. Eat right away.
  14. Step 14