How to Make Hudut, a Traditional Garifuna Food

The Garifuna have many delicious foods that are part of their culinary heritage, but one classic staple graces the tables of Garifuna families all over Belize. Hudut is a delicious stew that contains plantains, fish, and coconut.

Hudut is similar to other coconut fish stews from around the world, eaten by cultures in Brazil, Thailand, and Colombia. What separates hudut from other dishes is the fresh flavors added by the cilantro, oregano, and okra.

Hudut is also different in that it is paired with boiled plantains, often referred to as “fu-fu”. A combination of green, unripe plantains and yellow, ripe plantains combine to add a tangy freshness to this ubiquitous side dish that always accompanies the hudut stew in Garifuna cooking.

If you don’t live in Belize, the good news is that hudut is easy to make at home. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 4 green plantains
  • 2 ripe, soft plantains
  • 2 medium-size fish (such as red snapper), cleaned and filleted
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful of okra
  • Cilantro, fresh
  • Oregano, fresh
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions for making the plantains:

The plantains are served as a side dish for the main stew.

  1. Peel the green and ripe plantains and cut into three-four pieces.
  2. Boil green plantains in water 7-10 minutes until well softened.
  3. Add the ripe plantains to the water and continue to boil.
  4. Once well softened, remove from water.
  5. Allow to cool for one minute and then blend in food processor until smooth.

Note: If the plantain mixture is too thick, add a little water.

Instructions for making the stew:

  1. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. Dice the onion and garlic.
  3. Mince the oregano and cilantro.
  4. In a pot, add coconut milk, oregano, cilantro, okra, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook coconut liquid on medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent curdling, until it begins to boil.
  6. Using a frying pan, lightly sautee the fish in oil until it is browned.
  7. Add fish to boiling coconut mixture.
  8. Boil fish and coconut mixture together for 20 minutes.
  9. Serve with plantains on the side.

Cooking notes: The stew will begin to thicken as it cooks. Be sure to keep stirring the mixture continuously throughout the cook.

The Creole version of this dish in Belize is known as sere. Although the two are cooked in a similar way, sere has different ingredients and is usually served with rice instead of plantains.

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