Djon Djon - Haitian Rice

17.2.16 | Recipe by Renz

A savory rice dish filled with deep, intense flavor.

Djon Djon - Haitian Rice

You are getting ready to prepare dinner and what's the most important thing you think of "to eat" first? For me usually, it's what meat do I want, then I throw in whatever side I feel for in the mix. But this rice is more than "a throw in" side dish. I promise you that this deeply flavored mushroom rice, also known as "Haitian rice" rice can steal the show.

We usually consider rice a side dish; the perfect accompaniment to the meat which has the intense flavor. This rice recipe is the opposite. The taste of this rice is deep, intense and flavorful

I did not eat much Haitian food growing up. Actually not at all. Then I moved to South Florida and made Haitian friends.

Normally you can find a recipe that is created throughout all the Caribbean islands: rice and peas, stew chicken, curry shrimp. The process of making them may vary across the islands, but the concept of the dish is the same.

Djon Djon - Haitian Rice: A savory Haitian rice dish, deeply flavored with black mushrooms. A great addition to dinner. #HomeMadeZagat

Djon Djon, more popularly knows as 'Haitian Rice" is indigenous to Haiti only. The main reason being the mushrooms used to make this rice (djon djon translates to rice with mushrooms) are native to the northern part of Haiti. The mushrooms are really considered a delicacy and is used for "special" occasions. I find these dried mushrooms in packs in my Caribbean supermarkets.

You realize this rice is black right? I have seen even darker than what I usually make. The mushrooms, when water is added and when boiled, give off a dark residue which is what is used to color the rice. So obviously, the intensity of the darkness is what determines how dark your rice is going to be and how much of a mushroom flavor it will have.

Djon Djon - Haitian Rice

But I tell you, this rice's flavor is so deep. Along with the garlic and the sweet peas gives a nice contrast. Adding little shrimp to it is optional. I've had it with and without and it is still amazing.

Don't be fooled. This rice is a simple, process (just like making your regular rice) but instead of water, or coconut milk, you use the liquid from the mushrooms to simmer the rice in. The addition of thyme and scotch bonnet during the simmer stages help to deepen the flavor.

Djon Djon - Haitian Rice

Now, what do we pair this with? Some meat with sauce would be a great choice, so my stewed chicken would work perfectly with this rice. It's popularly also eaten with creole shrimp. And some balsamic tomatoes with avocado on the side.

Can dinner get any better than this?

Have you ever heard of this "mushroom rice"? Have another version of it? Let me know

Wait. Here are some other recipes to try:
Sweet and Sour Chicken (It's baked)
Curry Baked Chicken

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