Recipe by Member #610488
Fish and Fungi (foon-ji) is considered to be the unofficial dish of the US Virgin Islands. This recipe dates back to the days of slavery. Danish Law (owners of the Virgin Islands) allowed each slave six quarts of Indian meal (cornmeal) 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. I had this wonderful dish while working at Caneel Bay Resort, St. John, USVI several winters ago.
Top Review by Lester F.
Looks exactly like fungee from Antigua. I'm skeptical of the Tilapia though. Farm raised tilapia is a toxic poison I'd stay away from. They are most often fed pellets of their own poop, with concentrations of agricultural fertilizer runoffs, with presence of heavy metals and deadly weed killers.
Virgin Islands Style Fish
- 4 1⁄2 lbs fish, scaled and gutted
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen okra
- 2 1⁄2 cups boiling water
- 1 1⁄2 cups yellow cornmeal, ground fine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
Directions See How It's Made
- Place fish with all ingredients into a saucepan and cook gently until fish is cooked, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Place frozen okra in boiling water. Cook until just barely tender.
- In a medium size saucepan, bring 2½ cups water to a boil.
- To make fungi that is free of lumps, mix about ¼ cup of the cornmeal with ¾ 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.