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Virgin Islands Cooking by Carol M. Bareuther
Virgin Islands Cooking
Carol M. Bareuther


Okra Fungi

by Carol M. Bareuther

Fungi can be described simply as a stiff cornmeal mush. It is made from fine milled cornmeal and the trick is to stir the fungi properly so that it is velvety smooth, not lumpy. Fungi can be served plain or with the addition of chopped okra.
On a historical note, fish and fungi's roots lead back to the days of slavery. Danish Law allowed each slave six quarts of Indian meal and six salt herring per week. Occasionally, there were other foods thrown into the ration like yam and other vegetables, but the mainstay of cornmeal and fish led the African women to the creative result of fish and fungi.

Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition: 132 calories, 3 grams fat, 7 milligrams cholesterol and 98 milligrams sodium per serving.


  • 10 ounce package frozen cut okra
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cups fine yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Place frozen okra in boiling water. Cook until just barely tender.
In a medium size saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. To make fungi that is free of lumps, mix about cup of the cornmeal with cup water in a separate small bowl. Then, add this mixture back into the larger pot of boiling water. Let cornmeal cook for about a minute, then add the rest of the cornmeal into the pan in a slow steady stream, while stirring constantly.
Add hot cooked okra to cooked cornmeal. Stir well. Then, stir in the butter, salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes more.

Serve piping hot with Broiled Fish West Indian Style.

More recipes by Carol Bareuther

Recipe Carol M. Bareuther, 1992, 2003 - Copyright CaribSeek 2003 - All Rights Reserved - Web Published: January 07, 2003