The famous Black Mushroom Rice (Riz Djon-Djon) is a traditional Haitian rice dish. This rice is commonly served with meat, poultry, or seafood dishes, a specialty in Haitian culinary culture.
This dish makes its presence in most events, whether at a family gathering or public gatherings. It is also served at all Haitian restaurants. Black Mushroom Rice is one of the most requested rice recipes on this website and at all Haitian Caribbean gatherings.
What is djon djon and where to find it
Djon Djon is a type of mushroom. The Djon-Djon mushrooms are grown in the northern part of Haiti and sold dried. This type of fungus is mostly used for cooking rice, meat, and poultry in Haiti.
Unfortunately, the djon-djon mushroom is not sold in every supermarket. You will not be able to find it in your local supermarket in the US. You may find Djon Djon Maggie Cubes in West Indian markets. But the dried mushroom is sold where there is a large concentration of Haitian people. You may find it in Haitian-owned stores as well.
The mushroom can be found on Amazon and Etsy. The price is very high. So I would suggest, if you can, to shop at a West-Indian or Haitian-owned store. It will be more affordable.
How to use Djon Djon mushroom in cooking
When djon djon mushroom is used for cooking other types of dishes such as meat or poultry, the boiling method applies. The mushrooms are boiled with water. The water is then preserved to prepare either a sauce for the meat or poultry or cooked with rice. That is how dishes get their colors, dark gray or black.
The more djon djon you add to the water, the darker it will become. But of course, you have to make sure that the water is sufficient for whatever you are cooking.
Want to use Maggie Djon Djon? Use it as a seasoning because it contains other spices and salt. The cube also contains djon djon. Your dish will turn black or dark gray depending on the amount of water. Whether you are using dried Djon Djon or Maggie Djon Djon, it is recommended to use a good amount so the water could have the right amount of color for cooking the rice.
How to make Rice with Djon Djon or Mushroom Rice the Haitian way.
Cooking rice with Djon Djon is very easy. You either soak or boil the Djon Djon and use the water for cooking the rice. You should only add additional water if necessary. Make sure you have plenty of djon djon water to cook the rice. If you need to add water, use the leftover mushroom to resoak or boil. If you use regular water or chicken broth, the rice will not be dark and the taste might change. It is always good to adjust your seasoning.
Seasoning the rice the right way is essential. Many cooks will opt to use chicken bouillon and a mixture of dried or green seasoning blend. Many others will only use chicken bouillon seasoning. Whatever seasoning you use, make sure it is not strong, as the mushroom will give the rice an earthy and flavorful aroma.
Cooking the rice
Before preparing this dish, you will need a good rice brand and type. Usually, long-grain rice is recommended. I recommend soaking the mushroom for at least 2 hours and then boil. This process makes the water darker.
The rice is prepared the same way as any other type of rice dish. The same amount of water you will use for cooking white rice, for example, the same amount of mushroom water, is needed. If you need 2 cups of water, you will boil about 1/4 cup of mushrooms in 2 cups of water. The only difference with the recipe afterward is adding green peas or lima beans. So take into account the moisture of the beans or peas.
Using frozen lima beans or frozen peas? The frozen and thawed peas or beans should be cooked in the pot before adding the rice. This way everything will cook evenly. Adding shallots, scallion or parsley and even a whole hot pepper is not uncommon.
As far as seafood, it is best to cook the shrimp, lobster, or langoustine separately. If you add any of the seafood mentioned to cook with the rice, they will be overcooked. You can season the seafood, sautee in a separate pan, and add them to the rice during the last few minutes of cooking. Or you can serve the rice, let say, with shrimp creole. This combination is a delight!
The perfect combination
Below are a few dishes ideas to enjoy Rice with Djon Djon.
- Soak mushrooms overnight for the best result.
- If adding shrimp or lobster, clean and lightly season seafood first and add before simmering.
- Do not over mix; the rice will not be grainy.
- Use long-grain rice
- You can also buy Maggi Djon-Djon in many West-Indians stores. If you are using it omit the chicken bouillon from the recipe
Make this recipe for Sunday dinners and on special occasions.