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This delicious meal is proudly honoured as the national dish of Barbados. Cou Cou and Flying Fish takes about 45 minutes to prepare, including the time it takes to prepare the ingredients. Its two main ingredients are fish and corn meal. This authentic meal is not only easy to prepare, but bursts with flavour as well, the best combo for any dish. 

It’s best served at dinner time. Let’s go!


  • 5 flying fish
  • 1 1/4 tsp of iodized salt
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning
  • 8-12 fresh okra (8 large, or 12 small)
  • 4 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano
  • 6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 small, yellow onion
  • 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of fine cornmeal
  • Flour (for dredging)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)


  1. Give the flying fish a thorough wash and place in a bowl to mix. Squeeze the lime juice over the flying fish, add 1 teaspoon of salt and rub together into the fish. Be sure that the ingredients cover the entire fish. Cover and place in the fridge for thirty minutes. 
  2. After 30 minutes, rinse off the flying fish and pat dry using a paper towel, and season with jerk seasoning.
  3. Next you rinse the okra and cut it into a round shape. Boil three cups of water in a medium size pot and add the sliced okra into the boiling pot and reduce the heat. Cook for about 12 minutes until the water becomes slimy from the okra.
  4. Separate the okra and the water setting the okra aside, put some of the water back on the boil and pour in one cup of cornmeal turning with a cou cou stick or wooden spoon. Add the set aside okra and remaining water slowly and continue to stir to prevent lumps from forming. After the cornmeal has absorbed most of the okra water, you can add more water and continue the process until everything is thoroughly mixed. Leave to cook and stir only occasionally. The cou cou is ready once it starts to puff.
  5. To make the gravy, add sliced onions in a small pan and add destemmed oregano and thyme. Pour in 1 cup of water and allow to boil. Then stir in black pepper, tomato paste, salt to taste, and allow to simmer. To fry the flying fish, simply coat the fish in flour and fry both sides in vegetable oil until they’re golden brown and crisp. 
  6. Serve the cou cou with the flying fish and gravy.

Gladys Christian | Staff Writer

Spring 2024

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