What is Djon Djon mushroom or Haitian Black Mushroom
Djon Djon mushroom is a type of black fungus that grows primarily in the mountains surrounding the Artibonite River valley. This delicate mushroom is commonly cooked with rice, hence, Rice with Djon Djon, Diri ak Djon-Djon, or Riz Djon Djon.
Where to buy Haitian Djon Djon?
Djon Djon mushrooms are sold in Haitian markets or stores. You can also find djon djon on Amazon and Etsy. It can be quite expensive, so it is best to shop around if you have time.
Is Maggie Djon Djon the same as the real Haitian Djon Djon?
In my opinion, it is not! Both taste and color are different, and the description on the packaging of the Maggi Djon Djon only states mushrooms. I think we may not have real djon djon in cube form. Here is a list of the ingredients in the cubes:
- Salt, Caramel Color, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, sugar, Corn Starch, less than 2% Soybean Oil, Disodium Inosinate, Black Carrot Juice Concentrate (for color), Mushroom Powder, and Potassium Iodate.
As you can see from the list of ingredients, the Djon Djon mushroom is not listed. It only states mushroom. Is it an oversight? I am not certain, but again, Nestle, the food manufacturer of the Maggie Djon Djon, may not be obligated to list the type of mushroom because of some ruling from the Food and Drug Administration.
If you happen to call to find out the final ingredients, don’t hold your breath. You will never find out. Manufactured food recipes are kept secret.
Is Maggi Djon Djon healthy?
It depends on who you ask. The real djon djon, dried djon djon, is healthier than the Maggi Djon Djon. Take a look at the photos above. Because the real Haitian Djon Djon is expensive, many restaurants and individuals like me use Maggi Djon Djon. And depending on where you live and if you trying to avoid paying for shipping, it may be hard to find real djon djon.
Also, if you’re making Rice with Djon Djon for four people, you must add at least 3-4 cubes for the rice to turn black. The recipe has changed from the last time I used the cubes (February 2023).
Is Djon Djon available in powder form?
I have seen it only once during my travels in Canada many years ago. I cannot remember if it was the real thing. I have never seen it again. But you can make your own. It requires a lot of patience, a grinder, and an air-tight container. Check out this blog post about how to grind Haitian Djon Djon. (coming soon)
How to use the real Djon Djon mushroom
The djon djon mushroom is sold dried in many Haitian and West-Indian markets. Because the mushrooms are dried, they need moisture. And there are two ways to do so. One is to soak the mushrooms for several minutes, and the other is to boil them.
Both methods work very well. Whether you make Rice with Djon Djon or Chicken with Okra and Djon Djon, you only use the mushroom boiling water.
Here is the Mushroom dried and in Maggi Bouillon Cube.
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Updated with additional content 2/2023.