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Virgin Islands Fish with Fungi

You mean people really eat that? These Virgin Islands fish with fungi recipes are surprisingly great.

It may sound gross, but the fungi served with these dishes is not much different from polenta or cornmeal mush. Served with fish, this is the unofficial dish of the Virgin Islands! Try the recipes, and see some other Virgin Island dishes here.

Boiled Fish with Onion Sauce and Fungi

Adapted via Ingredients For the fish

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 2 fresh hot chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 whole 1-lb. red snappers, cleaned
  • 1 small malanga, peeled and thickly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 ripe plantain, peeled and thickly sliced (optional)
  • 2 limes, halved
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

For the fungi

  • 1 cup salted water
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen okra,finely chopped
  • 1 2/3 cup white cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt


  1. Make the hot fungi: bring salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add okra, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer okra and cooking liquid to a small bowl, and set aside.
  4. Bring white cornmeal, whisking constantly.
  5. Stir in reserved okra and liquid, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until cornmeal is soft, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat, add butter, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to mix well.
  7. Season to taste with salt. Mold fungi into small mounds with a large, wet serving spoon.
  8. Put thyme, 2 sprigs of the parsley, half the chiles, and 8 cups water into a large, deep skillet, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  9. Add fish, then malanga and plantains if using. (Water should just cover fish.)
  10. Squeeze 2 of the lime halves over fish, and season with salt.
  11. Cover, and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, spooning broth over fish several times, until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  12. Carefully transfer each fish to a plate, using a slotted spatula; then divide plantains (if using) between plates.
  13. Cover to keep warm.
  14. Continue cooking malanga (if using) until soft, about 10 minutes more.
  15. Meanwhile, put oil, onions, peppers, celery, garlic, remaining chiles, and vinegar into a medium saucepan.
  16. Cover, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
  17. Season onion sauce to taste with salt.
  18. Uncover fish, divide fungi between plates, and spoon malanga (if using) and broth around fish.
  19. Spoon some onion sauce over fish.
  20. Garnish each with remaining parsley and lime halves.

Serves 2-4

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West Indian Fried Fish with Fungi and Carnival Creole Sauce 

Adapted via Ingredients Fish

  • 1 whole fish
  • 1/2 cup creole seasoning


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Creole Sauce

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (or substitute fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • Hot Peppers


  1. Scale and gut the fish.
  2. Season inside and out with creole seasoning.
  3. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  4. Fry in hot oil until brown and crispy.
  5. For the Fungi, put 1 cup of cornmeal into the saucepan.
  6. Add salt.
  7. Stir in 2 cups cold water. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken.
  8. Stir in one tablespoon butter.
  9. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  10. Cook for approximately 15 minutes.
  11. For the creole sauce, combine all ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes or until onions and peppers are tender.
  12. Serve creole sauce over fish and fungi. 

Serves 1-2

Virgin Islands Steamed (Boiled) Fish

Adapted via Ingredients Fish

Fungi with Okra


  1. Clean fish with vinegar.
  2. Season fish with lime/lemon juice, Goya Adobo, and black pepper.
  3. Place seasoned fish with all ingredients into a saucepan with butter and recaito, cook gently until fish is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Place frozen okra in boiling water. Cook until just barely tender.
  5. In a medium size saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Add hot cooked okra to cooked cornmeal. Stir well.
  9. Then, stir in the butter, salt, to taste.
  10. Simmer for about 5 minutes more.
  11. Mold fungi into small mounds with a large, wet serving spoon.
  12. Serve balls of fungi alongside fish. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8

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Virgin Islands Fish with Fungi