• Rachele Viard

Cou-Cou and Pan-Roasted Halibut with Creole Sauce

Updated: Jan 16

Chef Tobenna Wells is a private executive chef who is passionate about his craft and committed to preparing the very best dishes for all types of events. Based in Canada, Chef Tobenna is sharing the flavors of Barbados in all his meals from sophisticated French Dining to quick comfort dishes. This Cou-Cou and Pan-Roasted Halibut with Creole Sauce is absolutely delectable. Go ahead, get the ingredients, make it, sure to be a hit.

Photos provided by Chef Tobenna


12oz corn meal

6oz okras

3 medium onions

1 lemon

zest from half of the lemon

2-4 lemon wheels, cut after zesting the lemon

1 red bell pepper

2 ribs of celery

2 stalks green onion

4 cloves garlic

1 tbsp ginger

400 ml fire roasted canned tomato (regular canned tomato works as well)

A small bunch of fresh thyme

16 ozs halibut (or other fish of choice)

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp veg. oil

4 tbsp Cajun spice blend

Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce


Fish or veg stock (optional)

Salt to taste



Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit (204 Celsius)

Remove any skin which may be available.

Divide the halibut into even portions, either 4 4ooz portions or two 8oz portions.

Marinate the Halibut in 1 tbsp of oil, lemon zest and the green tops of green onion.

When ready to cook season with 2 tbsp of the Cajun spices (and salt if there’s none in the spice blend).

Melt 2 tbsp of butter with one tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat in an oven safe non-stick pan (if none are available sear the halibut then transfer to a lined baking sheet before placing in the oven).

Place the fish into the pan with the presentation side down, cook for 3 minutes.

Flip the fish and add thyme, lemon wheels and 2 garlic cloves to the pan in the empty space beside the fish if there’s any. Cook for 3 more minutes.

Place the lemon wheels and thyme on top of the fish and baste a few times with the melted butter in the pan.

Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 4 minutes. Serve immediately.


In a bowl, combine the cornmeal with enough water to cover, set aside.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the okras and slice into rings. Place the sliced okras in a pot with veg stock (or water), chopped onion and salt. Bring to a medium boil for 4 minutes until the okras soften.

Strain the okras and onion into a bowl, saving the liquid.

Add about a quarter of the okra stock back into the pot and add the soaked cornmeal. You'll need a wooden spoon to stir the cou cou as it cooks. Stir constantly to avoid lumping, pressing any lumps found into the side of the pot to smoothen.

Add more of the okra stock gradually, usually up to ¾ of it in ¼ increments. You can tell you're nearly finished when the Cou-Cou starts to bubble gently at the surface. Add in the cooked okra slices and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tbsp butter.

Creole Sauce

Slice two of the onion, the white stalks of the green onions, the ginger, the celery and the red bell pepper.

Mince the garlic.

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a pot over medium heat then add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and red bell pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent, or for about 10 mins.

Add 2 tbsp of the Cajun spice blend and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the canned tomato and 4 cups of the fish or veg stock.

Cook until reduced by half and add the juice from the lemon.

If you want a smooth sauce you can blend it at this stage, if you want it chunkier you can leave as it and cook until it’s thicker.

Season with salt and scotch bonnet pepper sauce.

Serve over the Fish.

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