How to Make Haitian Diri Djon Djon

by | Sep 10, 2020 | Cooking, Tips and Tools | 0 comments

What happens when you combine mushrooms, shrimp and rice? The signature “black rice” of the Haitians. Djon Djon mushrooms give the rice a darker appearance and give this dish its amazing flavor.

Growing up in a Caribbean community I was exposed to so many amazing, traditional, Caribbean dishes. Jamaican food is obviously what I ate most in my home but you better believe I could be seen as a child eyeing the dishes on every stove of my friends homes.

Diri Djon Djon is always one that stood out to me in my Haitian friends homes and it wasn’t until recently that I decided to give it a try and put my spin on it. I gotta say I will be cooking this often from here on out. Not only are the requests pouring in but its just that good.

Djon Djon Mushrooms can be sourced online from Haiti and alternatively there are companies that make Djon Djon bouillon cubes.These cubes will also result in a rich in black color if you prefer.  I don’t use them because I haven’t found one that doesn’t contain MSG or coloring but that’s up to personal preference. 

Don’t be overwhelmed by this recipe, it is actually very simple to make and I will show you some shortcuts if you you’re running short on time.

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Caribbean, Haitian
Keyword: Diri Djon Djon

Ingredients

Epis Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bell bell pepper chopped
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bunch chopped scallion
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 3" slice of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 cayenne pepper
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil

Stock Ingredients

  • 4 cups Djon Djon mushrooms or any dried mushroom
  • 1 yellow onion does not need to be peeled
  • 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb of garlic cut in half does not need to be peeled
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 cups shrimp shells
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp MAT Dry Brine Or Salt
  • ½ gallon of water.

Rice Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Epis
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups white rice
  • 6 cups of your shrimp stock

Shrimp Ingredients

  • 1 lb of shrimp deveined cleaned and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Wah Gwan™ Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Epis
  • 1 cup Barbancourt Rum
  • 2 cups shrimp stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or potato flour

Step 1 | Prep the Rice

First Rinse and soak 4 cups of white rice. I use jasmine or Basmati for this recipe. Set aside

Step 2 | Make Epis

Place all of the ingredients in a blender, blend well. Store in an airtight jar. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Short cut tip: Make ahead

Step 3 | Make a Stock

I make a compound shrimp stock for this recipe. I accumulate shrimp shells and freeze them in a ziplock. Over time I have enough to make a stock.

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, parsley and shrimp shells. Season with dry brine or salt then cook stirring frequently to release flavors and get some coloring. Add water, cover and bring to a simmer for 30 min or up to 1 hour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. If using dried mushrooms, strain directly over the mushrooms and let sit for 30 mins or place in the fridge when cool as long as overnight. The longer it sits the more flavor and color will be extracted.

Short cut tip: You can use any stock whether homemade or store bought. Feel free to sub this stock for chicken stock or water.

Step 4 | Make the Rice

Next in a pot over medium heat, (you can use the same pot you made the stock in)  add 2 tbsp olive oil, once heated add Epis seasoning. Cook stirring frequently for about 2 minutes then add the green peas and stir. 

Next, strain the rice and add to the stock pot. Stir, then add the coconut milk and 6 cups of your stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook uncovered until the liquid is evaporated. At that point cover and leave on low heat while preparing the shrimp and sauce. 

Step 5 | Make the Shrimp

Season the shrimp with 1 tbsp olive oil, rub with Wah Gwan™ and salt.

In a pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil, bring to a high temperature and add shrimp searing on both sides. Once the shrimp are halfway cooked remove from the pan and set aside. 

Add Epis to the hot pan and stir, then carefully add the rum and simmer allowing the alcohol to evaporate. 

Do not feel pressured to flambé. The result will be the same without lighting anything on fire. If the rum does ignite, stand back, don’t burn the place down and wait until the flame dies down before resuming. 

Add two cups of stock and simmer. Next whisk in cornstarch or potato flour. This can also be done in a bowl by making a slurry then adding into the pan.

Let the sauce thicken to your desired consistency. Add the shrimp back to the pan and baste with sauce until cooked all the way through.

Step 6 | Combine and Serve

Plate with Rice topped with shrimp and sauce. 

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